I have recently been spending lots of time on the phone and writing emails to make sure all of my mother’s care is arranged.  There are so many people to contact and much of her care is fragmented and not well-coordinated. It has made me reflect a lot on how stressful this can be! Many of my generation are spending lots of time caring for their aging parents or a loved one who is seriously ill. It took so much time and energy this week, but she is finally home where she wants to be. It was all the little things that meant so much! She was pleased to have her usual snack on a favorite plate that reminded her of a vacation she took long ago. She could see Spring flowers from the window and her routine was back to normal. But best of all, the people she loves are taking care of her where she wants to be—home. A hospital stay can be very hard on the elderly and also poses risks such as infection and confusion.

Hospice can help with care coordination as well as helping someone stay at home. When you have care from a hospice team, the hospice nurse and social worker coordinate most of the care and this relieves a great burden for families. Medical equipment is provided, medications ordered, assistance with personal care is arranged and there is someone on call 24/7 who can assist or visit if needed. My mother is frail and elderly, but if she qualified for hospice this would really help me right now. One of the things we really need is a plan and a way to help her stay at home. Without hospice, this can be hard. When something happens at the weekend or in the evening and you don’t have what you need or don’t know what to do, you often end up in the emergency room. So think about hospice as a resource if you have a loved one who might be eligible. It is a benefit that is 100% covered by Medicare and it might make life easier for all of the family. Don’t wait, call your local hospice and find out more. For more about hospice eligibility go to https://hospicewv.org//services/life-limiting-illnesses/