I met Alice last year when her doctor suggested that she enter hospice as her condition was only worsening. The chance of recovery seemed unlikely.
Physicians typically recommend hospice when they believe a patient has less than six months to live and life-saving treatments have run their course. Alice just sat in his office shaking her head.
“It sounds like such a final decision. What if I decide I want to go back to the hospital for further treatment? Can I?”
Her doctor assured her she could, but Alice being the stickler that she was, insisted on finding out for herself. She contacted me because her friend had used our hospice services for an uncle and raved about us.
I told Alice precisely what her doctor told her, but possibly in a more empathetic manner. I explained that if her physician was recommending hospice, it was because he wanted to give her the option to enjoy the time she had left with her family and friends without being burdened by intense pain or discomfort.
I went on to explain to her that hospice was more than just a type of medical care. It is an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals, healers, chaplains, dieticians, pharmacists, bereavement counselors, nurses, doctors and others who focus on a quality end of life experience by providing pain management treatment and comfort care.
Alice was quiet. When I finished, she said, “Oh. He wants to make sure I’m receiving the care I need at this part of my life.”
“Yes, that’s it exactly,” I said.
Alice’s fight instinct was still in high gear as she told me that she didn’t want to go to another facility. Where is this hospice anyway? she asked.
I explained to her that hospice isn’t a place, it can be administered anywhere including in her home environment.
“What if I improve. Can I stop hospice,” she asked.
I assured her that if she improved that she could opt out of hospice and continue with medical treatments if she wishes. I added that if hospice was needed again in the future, she could be recommended for it again.
After our conversation, Alice seemed genuinely relieved and ready to take her doctor’s suggestions seriously. I believe she just wanted to be assured that neither she nor her physician was giving up. She came to realize that hospice can be another transition in the life cycle and that it was always her choice.
At Luxe Hospice, we take our jobs seriously. We want our clients to be informed of all their options, so they can make an educated choice, whether that is to stop treatment and do nothing or to work with a hospice team.
Call us with any questions you may have about the hospice process, and we will be more than happy to answer them. Our services are available 24/7. Luxe Hospice covers the Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Santa Monica, Brentwood, and Bel Air areas. We provide hospice services throughout the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas and can be reached at (310) 459-2040, info@Luxehc.com.