When to Think About Hospice Care & End of Life Decisions

Hospice Care

Photo provided by Harmony Hospice Care

Baby Boomer Birthdays

I have to come clean…I can see my 60th birthday. It isn’t coming terribly soon, but I can see the milestone up ahead. I realized I could look forward with dread or I could welcome it as a turning point in life. Yes, I am a Baby Boomer and as a group, we have had a tendency to put things off. We use the excuse that life has become so complicated & busy. In reality, life is simple. You are born, you survive for a while and then you pass on. Sad to see it distilled down that simply, but it is true, regardless. My spouse and I recently realized we needed to start planning. For the END. It is unsettling, but planning for Hospice Care or other EOL (End of Life) needs now can save your loved ones angst and anguish later.

I Plan to Live Long Enough…..

…..to be a burden to my children. Looks cute on a bumper sticker, but few parents actually feel this way.  We all feel like we will live forever when we are young….that changes eventually. Many people ignore the end of their life until it is too late. Just like everything else in life, plans for the End are not pleasant. My wife and I decided to start at the very end in our quest to make the final preparations. We signed up for The Neptune Society. That is, we opted for prepaid cremation. We can hold that for another blog, however. Our new focus is on Hospice Care. Think about it, are your family or friends prepared to care for you in your final days? Is your son a nurse? Is your daughter a doctor? Many who undertake end of life planning neglect to address this all too real possibility. You may go out in a blaze of glory, you may pass quietly in your sleep. For many, the end can take days, weeks or longer. Is your tribe of support ready or capable?

Unsung Heroes

According to WebMDYour Hospice team may include a doctor, nurse, social worker, counselor, chaplain (if you’re religious), home health aide, and trained volunteers. They work together to meet your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Hospice is for family members, too. It offers counseling and helps with practical things such as cleaning house and shopping. What all that means is the people who work in Hospice Care are Heroes. Think about what is required to care for people who are living their last moments on earth.  If your fellow humans can handle that responsibility, the least the rest of us can do is plan ahead of time for the End of too much information.

Here at The Beacon Center, we are proud to partner with Harmony Hospice Care. Our facility offers their staff a place to gather, train, and plan the best ways to help YOU in the most difficult time in your life. Harmony Hospice offers a wonderful booklet here, covering many questions you may have about end of life planning and care. There are many groups, facilities, and organizations dedicated to end of life planning. The most caring thing you can do is educate yourself and your loved ones about YOUR end of life plans.

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Gil Stonebarger

About Gil Stonebarger

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