Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Many Benefits of Hospice

I hear so many stories of how hospice makes a positive difference in the lives of families throughout the year. As both Passover and Easter were celebrated in the past week, I want to focus on the gift of support that hospice services provide families.

Not too long ago, I was stopped in a restaurant by a wait staff when my name badge was noticed. She shared the story of how Arbor Hospice helped her grandmother experience her high school graduation wish come true. This personal experience brought a smile to my face and tears to both of our eyes. Our care team had accomplished what the grandmother had wanted - to live each day to the fullest and be alive to witness her grandduaghter's graduation.

Another community member shared her experience with Arbor Hospice in relating that there was so much support for her and her siblings in the week that their mother was receiving services. She said it was almost more important for her siblings and herself to receive the support to figure out how to go on without their mom, and to know that their mom was not in pain anymore. The value of the emotional and spiritual support provided by the hospice team, the planning for the future for the grandchildren and the grief support services during the year afterward, was amazing.

It strikes me that this is truly the value of hospice that sometimes doesn't receive recognition. Of course, there is the obvious value of pain and symptom management services to the patient, and the cessation of countless trips to the emergency room and hospital, which at some point, does not improve a person's quality of life and can actually be counterproductive.

The true value of hospice can be found in the wrap-around services for the entire family, preparing them for the loss of their beloved, and helping them during their grief journey. The earlier hospice can interact with the patient and family, the better prepared we can help the family face the loss. I hope this is a new lesson we can all learn during this season of hope and renewal.

This blog post was written by Gloria D. Brooks, Arbor Hospice President and CEO. You may contact Gloria by commenting below or emailing her at

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