What every hospice nurse wishes you knew

hospice nurseHospice does not mean giving up hope. It means living every day as fully as you can. It means ensuring that any symptoms that arise, are going to be well managed. It means that there is a team of people there to help support you and your family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It means time spent with loved ones and/or doing things that bring joy. It means individualized care and honoring wishes.

There is a misconception that hospice is only for the “last few days”, when in reality it should be brought in much sooner to allow for the opportunity to manage any symptoms that arise and allow for true “quality of life”. Time that can then be spent on more important things.

The hospice team is not just a hospice nurse, it also incorporates Hospice Aides, psychosocial support and spiritual guidance based on the individual’s needs. This is not just for the patient, but also the family and caregivers. The patient’s physician remains part of the care plan but there is a hospice physician readily available that is trained specifically on symptom management. Medications, equipment and supplies are delivered right to your door – most often covered under the hospice benefit through the patient’s insurance. Care is available at all times with a simple phone call, in the hopes of preventing multiple (and often unnecessary) trips to the hospital or emergency room.

It is such a privilege of getting to know the patient, family and friends through this part of their journey.  Spending time looking through photos, sharing favorite music, enjoying family stories, is nothing short of a blessing for everyone involved. Being present for patients and families during this time of their journey encompasses care, compassion and allows our team to help support the patient and family during this time. The care is specifically tailored to each patient, their family, their wishes and needs.

My hope is that Hospice is recognized earlier in a patient’s journey.

At Angels Grace Hospice, in Bolingbrook, IL we provide customized care plans specific to each of patients and their families.  We provide end-of-life care at home, hospitals, skilled nursing homes or assisted-living facilities depending on individual circumstances.  Contact us with any questions and for further assistance with your end of life care options.