holding hands

A Good Death: Perspective from a Hospice Nurse

by Roxanne Smedsrud, RN, CHPN What does a good death mean to you? How does it look or feel? I’m sure if you ask 10 people, you would get 10 unique responses to these questions. We all have different life experiences, expectations and beliefs that shape our answers. A Personal Perspective After working as a …

Tips from a Hospice Nurse: What to Say to a Dying Person

by Renda Brooks, LPN When someone is dying, it can be an emotional and trying time for everyone involved. Many people shy away from the person who is dying because they don’t know how to deal with the emotions involved or they are afraid of what’s to come. The most important thing to remember is …

The Myths of Morphine

Being in pain is a common fear of those with a terminal illness. Relieving pain and symptoms is a top priority with hospice care, so special attention is given to alleviate pain. Many myths are associated with the use of morphine. These misconceptions should not stand in the way of an individual receiving relief: Myth …

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care: What’s the Difference?

While both palliative care and hospice care seek to relieve an individual’s pain and symptoms of chronic disease, there are significant differences. Palliative care: can be provided earlier in the disease process than hospice and does not require a six-month prognosis may benefit patients at any age and/or stage of their chronic illness can be …

It’s Never too Late to Thank a Veteran, Even at the End of Life

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military. These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices to defend our freedom, and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s veterans includes supporting them throughout …

Starting Hospice Sooner

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 …

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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

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. …

Hands holding onto a walking cane

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

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...