Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Caregivers of the World: Hospice

Hospice workers are awesome.  When my mother-in-law lived with us I saw first hand.  They bring in all the equipment you need.  The nurse's are great.  Very caring, informative.  They'll give the patient their meds and teach you how to do it as well.  They schedule days to come in and bathe them.  And my MIL not only had cancer, but she'd also had a stroke a few years earlier and didn't have the use of her tongue.  So they  taught me how to feed her through her feeding tube.

They aren't only there for their patient, but also for you.  They answer your questions, explain the stages of the illness, what's happening, what we could do to make it better, to understand it.  In a way they help us to accept what is imminent and support us after.  They're available 24/7.

My mother-in-law passed so quickly we didn't really have the opportunity to take advantage of all hospice had to offer.  They have many people willing to volunteer their time and talents to make people's last days as comfortable and fulfilling as possible, artists, massage therapists, etc.  Plus there are people who will just come sit with them, talk to them, or read to them.

They inspired me to make my MIL's stay as fun and comfortable as possible also.  So on top of caring for her, I'd pull my karaoke machine in and sing to her, watch movies with her, just sit and talk to her.

We used Franciscan Hospice whose slogan is, We bring light to the end of life, and you know what?  They really do.  If you're looking for a charity to donate too this year, or a way to volunteer your time, consider them. 


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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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