Hospice Is About Life, Making the Most of Every Day

November 1, 2015 | Rockford Register Star
by Lisa Novak

What’s most important to you? If you learned you had a life-limiting illness, would you work harder to mark items off your bucket list? Would life’s simplest routines bring the most joy?

At the end of life, many say being at home with loved ones brings the most happiness and meaning. Hobbies and social time also matter. Hospice can help you enjoy all the moments of your life. I remember one patient who enjoyed meeting buddies for coffee every week with hospice’s help. A recent hospice patient continued kayaking while receiving hospice care.

If I asked 10 people today, “What is hospice?” I would receive a variety of responses. Most could not accurately explain what hospice is or does. A few might say hospice cares for the dying, a correct answer, though limited in its scope.

The real answer? I would tell them, hospice is health care provided at home to individuals facing a life-limiting illness. Hospice’s team of doctors, nurses, social workers, nursing aides, chaplains, volunteers and other skilled professionals collaborate to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care and comfort.

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