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HOSPICE: Preserve end-of-life care

Letter by Nancy N Kuehnoel, Des Moines on Nov. 4, 2010 at 10:57 am with 4 Comments »
November 4, 2010 10:57 am

I read Jim Pledger’s Viewpoint column (11-3) with interest this morning. My mother, father and brother all died of cancer. My mother and brother were under the care of hospice, and my father died in a nursing home. The benefits of the hospice philosophy and programs for my family were knowing my loved ones were receiving excellent pain and symptom management and emotional support that hospitals and nursing homes are not equipped to deliver.

My mother was able to die at home, per her wish. While my brother was under hospice care as a Medicaid patient, he could not be cared for at home but in a nursing home. My father also died in a nursing home as a Medicare patient. It was very difficult to deal with the lack of privacy in saying goodbye (two beds per room). For my brother, pain management became an issue several times as hospitals and nursing homes have a different pain management philosophy. Hospice is more aggressive in achieving comfort.

As a compassionate society, we cannot cut hospice funds. Not only does it not make financial sense as Mr. Pledger’s piece pointed out, it is unconscionable to deny anyone as comfortable a death as possible for themselves and for their loved ones. Think about how your loved ones have died. Think about your passing. What would you want? Send a note to the governor and to your congressional delegation with the message to continue to support hospice programs in Washington.

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Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. When it’s time to check out, we should make the process as painless as possible. We’re all going to go through that particular turnstile, so it’s in our best interest to keep hospice around.

  2. I can’t say enough about the support my family received from Franciscan Hospice in 2009. My father’s lengthy illness and ultimate death was devastating on everyone. Hospice helped in every way imaginable. In the end, he was able to stay home right up to his last day of life. Hospice made that possible for us.

    I was a hospice volunteer when I was a junior in high school. I think more kids ought to get that chance. Maybe then they’d grow up to understand the value of this to our society, and not be so quick to cut that budget.

  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    I’m going to attempt to plan ahead for this. It’s a shame we can and will do for our beloved pets what we cannot or will not do for our parents or spouses.

  4. mhhlilsis says:

    The voters have spoken, they want programs cut. So we save Hospice, which I agree we should, then what goes? Can’t pay for everything when revenue is cut.
    Seems to me a simple tax on beverages and candy was a no brainer, those items were optional, there fore the tax was optional. Voters want things for free. Losing the Medicaid hospice benefit is just the beginning.

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