When it comes to dying, we clearly don’t have a whole lot of choice in the matter.
However, we often do have a choice about where our loved ones pass away. We have a choice about whether they pass away in a hospital, poked and prodded until their last minutes on Earth, or if they die in hospice.
Unfortunately, too few of us actually take advantage of hospice, because too few of us really understand what it is… and what it isn’t.
WHAT IT IS
“Hospice” is derived from the Latin word “hospitium” – guest house. Of course, it’s not exactly a place you’d go on vacation.
It is, however, a place in which to die with dignity. A place in which the patient is enveloped in a loving, warm atmosphere, in which the emphasis is on pain-relief, rather than cure.
Hospice is simply an approach to caring for patients at the end of their lives. It’s focused on improving remaining life, rather than prolonging it. And on the patient’s – and the family’s – emotional needs.
Hospice can be provided in a local facility… or in the patient’s home. And there’s no cost; it’s provided under Medicare.
WHAT IT ISN’T
Hospice is not a place to go a day before you die. And it’s not, unfortunately, a place recommended by enough physicians.
It’s simply a place in which you can leave this life with dignity and with peace.
Hospice also offers another big advantage. It’s a final opportunity (for both patient and family) to tie up any loose ends in their estate planning… and to make sure the patient’s wishes are honored.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’re Elder Law attorneys. We’ve been helping South Florida families tie up loose ends – and honoring loved ones’ wishes – for 33 years. And we’ve been helping them prepare for the inevitable (whenever it comes), with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid or the VA.
If your loved one is nearing the end of life, consider hospice. And make sure their wishes will be honored. It’s the ultimate gift.
We’re just a phone call away.
What Hospice Is. And What It Isn’t.