Coping with a terminal illness affects everyone: patient, family, and friends. HSHS St. Joseph's Hospice team helps patients with terminal illness spend their last months with comfort, dignity and quality. This services is provided in their own home, skilled nursing facility, or assisted living facility.
Hospice offers comfort care rather than curative treatment.
Under a physician's direction, hospice manages both pain and other symptoms to enable the patient to live as fully and comfortably as possible. Hospice services include registered nurses, social workers, certified nursing assistants, chaplain, trained volunteers, and bereavement staff. Complimentary therapies such as massage are also available.
- By electing to forego extensive life-prolonging treatment, hospice patients and their families can concentrate on getting the most out the time they have left, without some of the negative side-effects that life prolonging treatments can have.
- Most hospice patients can achieve a level of comfort that allows them to concentrate on the emotional and practical issues of living until they die.
- We all die, but how we get there with hospice can look very different than how we get there with extensive life-prolonging treatment.
Consider volunteering with hospice.
Volunteers go into homes or home-like settings, such as assisted living facilities and/or nursing homes to offer services such as respite care, to give the caregiver a chance to rest, run errands or some time alone. Volunteers spend time with the patient, discussing topics of interest, taking walks outdoors, reading books, praying together, assisting with favorite hobbies or simply just being present. Volunteers can run errands for the caregiver or possibly assist with light tasks around the home as well.
Some families prefer to have a regularly scheduled time each week for a volunteer to provide respite or companionship. Others may use a volunteer intermittently on an as-needed basis.
All volunteers have completed a training program that is offered at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, typically held in May. Training videos are also available and can be viewed at home.
View volunteer brochure.
Mary Kay was a teacher her entire life, and her last lesson was personal. She wanted people to know about the benefits of hospice care, and she was going to tell the story straight from an hospice patient: herself. She understood hospice helps not just the patient, but the family as well: physically and emotionally. She wanted to encourage others to live their best life, in their own homes, their own way until the very end. Just as she did.
Death is one of the most challenging human experiences. It leaves an emotional wound that takes time and expression of grief to heal. The Chippewa County Grief Education Guidance Team provides an ongoing Grief Support Group which offers a safe place to listen or express thoughts without rejection or judgment. The group is free, open to all, and meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8 PM at our hospital. Please call (715) 717-7581.