Hospice goes beyond medical care

By Stacy Gleaton: Guest columnist

In the past, many families took care of their own and never sought outside assistance.

Nowadays, many families just don’t realize the great services that are available to them.

Plains Regional Medical Center (PRMC) Hospice began in 1994 and has been providing excellent end of life care ever since. PRMC Hospice is committed to the belief that the hospice concept of care affirms life, recognizing dying as a normal process, and neither hastening nor postponing death.

To receive hospice care, a physician certifies that the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less. The patient chooses comfort care rather than aggressive treatment.

Patients can receive hospice care at home, in a nursing home, or assisted living facility in Curry and De Baca County. There are no age, sex, or financial restrictions placed on patients, including expenses for medication and equipment. Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, and many private insurers.

The beauty of PRMC Hospice is the team of caregivers who believe in family and patient-centered care. Physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, chaplains, aids, and volunteers unite to meet the patient’s and family’s physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.

Hospice is committed to making patients’ lasts months as comfortable and meaningful as possible. The supportive needs of the family continue for 13 months after the death of the patient in the form of bereavement support.

PRMC Hospice volunteers, like the other team members, are invaluable. Volunteers provide not only patient companionship, but also help patients with shopping, minor home repairs, or even clerical work in the PRMC Hospice office. Volunteers have painted fingernails, cut hair, mowed lawns, repaired windows, painted bedrooms, sang hymns, played instruments, read books, played card games, shopped for groceries, assisted with PRMC Hospice fund-raising events, and many other activities.

If you have a caring heart and are seeking a rewarding way to give to others, join the PRMC Hospice team in providing compassionate support to patients and their families.