With a purse-shaped cake and a gathering of loved ones, a woman celebrates her 100th birthday, something she didn’t think she’d see when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
But thanks to the Scott & White hospice care team, she is able to have her dying wish granted.
“If there’s something that a patient desires to do at the end of their life, then we try to provide that,” said Scott & White Chaplain Judy Hoelscher, M.Ed., M.A.P.T.
This fairy godmother approach to care is why Ms. Hoelscher says hospice work should be recognized.
The month of November is designated to do just that, and has been dubbed Hospice and Pallliative Care Month.
“This is a month where we want to celebrate hospice workers and what they do for the families of those who are dying from a terminal illness,” Ms. Hoelscher said.
But despite helping loved ones face the inevitable death of a family member, hospice workers are also there to give the patient the best quality of life.
“We want them to experience life to the fullest as much as their physical, mental and spiritual health will allow,” Ms. Hoelscher said.
Scott & White offers medical services, home health aides, medical equipment for the patient’s home and even massage therapy.
“We allow the person to be treated medically while still living surrounded by their own things.”
Hoelscher said that if someone is interested in hospice care, they should talk to their doctor. Most patients must have less than six months to live in order to qualify for hospice care.
“The hardest part is to accept that we or a loved one is dying,” Ms. Hoelscher said. “But it is important to talk about what is needed to prepare for death in order to be at peace.”