Before funerals at funeral homes in Ferndale, WA, many people will have hospice care before they die. Among the general population in the United States, hearing that someone is receiving hospice care equates to death being imminent. However, for most people who are under hospice care, that is not the case.
The decision to receive hospice care as life winds down to an end is not giving up on life or quitting life. Instead, it is a conscious decision for comfort and support as life comes to a natural close instead of for treatment to unnaturally, and often at the expense of quality, extend life as far as science and medicine can extend it.
But hospice is not just for people with life-threatening conditions like congestive heart failure, or with terminal conditions like cancer, or who, because of age, are simply at the end of the road of life. Hospice is also for the family, and it aims to support the wishes of both the person who is dying and their families in an environment that supports, assists, and comforts them.
Hospice is very specialized care that brings together professionals to meet every need that a dying loved one and their family might have.
Nursing support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Unlike home health care and palliative health care, where nurses are not on-call all hours of the day to do home visits in urgent situations, hospice nurses come to the home whenever they need to, whether it’s 3 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon or 3 a.m. on a Wednesday morning.
Hospice nurses coordinate medical services, including having prescriptions delivered to the home, facilitating the change of medications, and arranging the delivery of medical equipment, if needed. They are the liaison to make sure that all medical care is provided in the comfort of home, not in a hospital.
Hospice social workers provide help with practical needs the patient and their family may have. This may include resources for services, including those provided by the Veterans Department of Affairs to military veterans, for meal deliveries, financial assistance, and volunteer organizations that offer home maintenance or home adaption at a minimal cost or at no cost.
Hospice also has chaplains on staff to attend to the spiritual needs of the patient and their family. Even if the patient and their family have a religious affiliation, the hospice chaplain is available anytime to provide spiritual encouragement and help if the patient or family is in immediate need. This might include just sitting with the patient and family talking, reading scriptures, or saying prayers with them.
Hospice helps because there is no need that the patient or their family has that hospice can’t address, freeing up the patient and their family from fretting and worrying and enabling them to spend quality time together in the comfort and security of their home.
Hospice also helps because it allows patients to die with dignity, surrounded by loved ones, but not dressed in a hospital gown, lying in an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar (and cold) room, hooked up to medical equipment.
Hospice helps because it respects all the wishes of the patient and the family, and it provides support and counseling for everyone about the process of dying, the process of grieving, and the process after death. Hospice holds everyone’s hand from the beginning to the end.
For additional information about hospice and funeral homes, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Greenacres Memorial Park is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 5700 Northwest Dr., Ferndale, WA 98248, or you can call us today at (360) 384-3401. We also serve the areas of Bellingham, Ferndale and Mount Vernon, WA.