We know talking about the end of life can be an uncomfortable subject but in this LIV Health Local spotlight, we’re partnering with Hospice of Laramie to talk more about what Hospice is and the services they offer.
Talking about the end of life with a loved one can be a very important conversation to have. No guide or a single conversation can cover all of the decisions that you may have to make. A conversation can provide a shared understanding of what matters to you and your loved ones. Having an end of life conversations can make it easier to make decisions when the time comes. According to The Conversation Project National Survey (2018), 92% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end of life care is important and 95% say they are willing or want to talk about their end-of-life wishes.Learn more about the survey here
One of the most common sentiments from families who have been helped by hospice care is, “We wish we had known about hospice sooner.” The majority of Americans say they would like to have excellent pain management, comfort, and support at the end of life.
So let’s start off with what Hospice really is…
Hospice treats the person, not the disease. It emphasizes quality of life, rather than the length of time. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death, but affirms life and accepts dying as a normal process. The hospice movement stresses the dignity and human values that go beyond the physical needs of the patient. Hospice care seeks to enable the patient to spend what time they have left, with dignity and quality, at home or in a home-like setting. There is a team of trained professionals available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to provide extensive service to the patient and the family. This type of care is for people with any type of terminal illness.
Benefits of Hospice
Many end-of-life experts, as well as patients and families, consider hospice to be the *‘gold standard’* for end-of-life care for both quality and cost-effectiveness. Most people equate end-of-life palliative care with hospice care. Family members consistently report the quality of hospice care to be excellent. Compared to traditional care for the terminally ill and the use of advance directives, such as living wills and medical powers of attorney, hospice care could save up to 10% of the cost of care in a patient’s last year of life, 10-17% in the last 6 months, and 25-40% in the final month.
Hospice of Laramie
Hospice of Laramie provides 24-hour care for inpatient and outpatient services. Short-term inpatient care is provided when an individual’s condition or disease progression must be closely monitored, and/or to manage pain that cannot safely be managed at home. They have 6 inpatient beds and the building is designed to resemble a home rather than a facility. Patient suites feature a family room, and beds are available for family members to stay with their loved ones. The building features a kitchen that family members may use to prepare meals for their loved ones, a large family room with a fireplace, a library, children’s play area, and a chapel.
Did you know that Hospice of Laramie is the only Medicare Certified Hospice in Albany County? They are! Their mission is to promote acceptance of the process of dying as a natural potentially fulfilling part of life while providing emotional, spiritual, social, and material resources to support the dying, their families, and friends. The team at Hospice of Laramie all works together toward a common goal; that goal being the best quality of life for the patient during whatever time he, or she, has remaining. An important goal of Hospice of Laramie is to provide support after the death of a loved one.
Hospice of Laramie offers Bereavement Services to both families and members of the community. They have the Good Grief Café Group which meets the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month from 12-1 pm. This is a free social hour to share, listen, and find support with others who have experienced grief and loss.
They also offer a 12-week Bereavement Support Group. This group meets on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:00 pm. This group is based on the book Understanding Your Grief: Ten Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart written by Dr. Alan Wolfelt. The next session will be offered in January.
Individual visits, grief and loss literature, information, and community resources are also offered.
Hospice of Laramie also has volunteer opportunities. Patient companion volunteers provide companionship, respite care, run errands, and generally do what is needed to provide companion care to patients and families. Their purpose is to provide friendship and help in coping. Training is required to be a companion volunteer. Community volunteers help with fundraising events and training is not required.
How can you help someone who is or has experienced the death of a loved one?
- Call and visit
- Recognize that the grieving process takes time
- Encourage them to express and share their feelings, allow them to talk about their loved one
- Resist the temptation to recite clichés such as “It was for the best.” “It was meant to be.” At least they didn’t suffer.” Instead, say things like “I’m sorry.” “I’m concerned and I want to help.” “Can I help you with the groceries, laundry, gardening, etc.”
- Remember the family on holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries
Hospice of Laramie Events
Hospice of Laramie has several events throughout the year. These include Febrewary Fest, Annual Community Memorial Service, the Downtown Toodeloo (5K/10K Run/Walk), Wine Gala and Taste of Laramie, Holiday of Hope, and a Tree Lighting.
Hospice of Laramie is planning two events in November. The first event is the Holiday of Hope which will be held on November 7th from 4-5 pm. The event will consist of a candle ceremony, information about grief and the holidays, a performance by The Melodees, and refreshments. Birdseed ornaments made by Hospice of Laramie volunteers will be available for purchase.Print the flyer here
The second event is a Tree Lighting that will be held on November 22nd from 5:30-6:30 pm. This event will include a candle ceremony, brief presentation, lighting of outdoor trees, and refreshments. Symbolic light strands for our trees will be available for purchase in memory of loved ones.
Both events will be held at Hospice of Laramie, 1754 Centennial Drive.
If you have questions about Hospice or their events, please call 307.745.9254 or check them out onlineHere
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