Benefits to Starting Hospice Care Sooner Rather than Later

by Kelly Haneca, RN, BSN, CHPN Hospice is a concept of care that focuses on quality of life for those with a life expectancy of six months or less if an illness runs its normal course. Many people are surprised to learn hospice is available for weeks and months of care. Even though this benefit …

6 Things You Can Expect from Hospice Care, in the First Week and Beyond

by Janna Benson Kontz, MDiv For many individuals who live with a terminal illness, it is a welcome relief to choose to forgo aggressive treatments, and instead, focus on quality of life. Everyone deserves to have the best quality of life possible and be treated with dignity, especially during the last months of life. Although …

5 Commonly Asked Questions about Hospice Care

The Medicare Hospice Benefit has existed for nearly 40 years, but the benefit is underutilized and frequently misunderstood. There continue to be many questions, and myths, about hospice care. Below are answers to some the most common questions to give you better understanding of what hospice care is and how it can benefit your family. …

5 Signs Your Loved One is Ready for Hospice

by Katie Martin, RN I’ve had the privilege of working in hospice care for five years, which means five years of helping families through the most difficult time in their lives. Some families have our help for months, some for weeks and others for just days or even hours. No matter how long they have …

Hospice Care in an Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Facility

If your loved one resides in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, you are entrusting others to provide the best care possible for your loved one. Staff members in these facilities are experts in long-term care, and Hospice of the Red River Valley staff members are experts in pain and symptom management for end-of-life care. We often hear questions...

Peace in Dying

by Barbara Karnes, RN, guest author A lot has been talked about people accepting and “coming to terms” with their approaching death. Even Elizabeth Kübler-Ross talked about acceptance as one of her stages of dying. I’m not so sure we “accept” that we are dying. I think we can understand that we are dying. I believe all of us know in...

Refocusing Hope at the End of Life’s Journey

by Jenna Miosek, RN The poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all …” Although hope may look different than expected at the end of life’s journey, it doesn’t have an end point. A common concern we hear expressed by families...

November Is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and hospices across the country are reaching out to raise awareness about the highest quality care for all people coping with life-limiting illnesses. Every year, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, nearly 1.6 million people living with a life-limiting illness receive care from hospice and palliative care providers in...

How Hospice Care Became My Calling

By Tracee Capron, executive director The day I received a phone call that my family needed comfort care/hospice care was the beginning of a journey that would change my life and the lives of my family members forever. At the time, I was an oncology nurse working in a hospital and I had an inaccurate understanding of comfort care/hospice care....

Difficult Conversations: How to Talk About Hospice Care

Family members and caregivers often feel uncomfortable talking about death and dying. But, these may be some of the most important conversations we have. If we avoid talking about death, how will we know what our loved ones want? It’s OK to talk about end-of-life wishes and hospice. Talking about hospice care does not mean there is nothing else that...