The "H" Word
Let’s face it: there is an uncomfortable stigma associated with the word “hospice.” This is often the result of simple misunderstandings or of knowing someone who had an unpleasant experience with hospice. Hospice does not speed up the dying process; in fact, there are several studies that show that hospice care increases both the quality and length of life (e.g., Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Article). Electing to begin hospice care makes an entire team available to you and your family. Because you remain in control, you are able to choose which services (except for nursing care) you prefer to utilize. For example, some patients decline to have a chaplain visit regularly, while others prefer not to have a volunteer make social visits. The majority of people, however, enjoy the benefits of having the support of the full team throughout their hospice experience. Although we don’t minimize the realities of death, at Evergreen Hospice we do believe that our mission includes helping you to live life to its fullest.