“We wish we would have come sooner.” At Joliet Area Community Hospice (JACH), these words are spoken from families whose loved ones were in hospice care only a few days. As the public becomes more educated about the services hospice care provides, more people are choosing this form of comfort care at end-of-life.
Hospice is care that focuses on quality of life, pain relief and symptom management. It can be provided wherever the patient calls home: the family home, nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital or the inpatient hospice home. Studies have shown that those in hospice care can actually live longer. The patient and the family are supported medically, emotionally and spiritually. Grief services are also provided. In addition, JACH offers complementary therapies such as art, music, pet, aroma, and reiki to give that extra touch of comfort.
Just in the last year or two, the press has reported more celebrities and dignitaries entering hospice when curative treatments are no longer working or preferred. Barbara Bush, Glen Campbell, Aretha Franklin and Oprah’s mother, for example, were able to experience the comfort and dignity hospice care provides.
Although the requirement for hospice is to have a terminal illness with 6 months or less to live, so often, hospice care is not sought until the patient’s final days. Hospice care should be considered at the first mention of a terminal illness. The patient and family can then prepare in advance and they can have those significant conversations to determine what is important to the patient and his or her wishes as the disease or illness progresses. This will make it less stressful for everyone before a crisis occurs.
If you or a loved one may be ready for hospice, talk with your doctor or contact Joliet Area Community Hospice at 815.740.4104 for more information. A proud United Way Agency.