Why Home Care And Hospice Matter

By Joshua Wagner, Director of Marketing and Communication, The Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice

We are standing there watching her fade away.  There is nothing we can do.  The rest of our family is there, around her bedside.  These have been a tough few months as she has fought a great fight, and yet, we knew a few weeks ago it was time to call in hospice.  We thought of those home care workers, nurses and caretakers that made her last few weeks so comfortable as she was surrounded by the comforts of her own home.  No squads of doctors swarming in and out.  No loud, disembodied voices, calling codes over a loudspeaker.  No loud neighbors. No foreign environments. She has been comfortable at home.  It’s how she would have wanted it.

Her care was in the very best of hands.  Both the home care and hospice workers cared so much- we felt like we were the center of the universe.  We never felt like we had to split our time with other patients.  She got all of their attention when they were here and we felt like it.  We couldn’t have hoped for a better end to her life.  It’s hard to believe that it’s here and the transition was so calm, peaceful, and seamless, that we were able to cope so much better as changes took place.

There are tens of thousands  people receiving care in their homes, currently, in Ohio.  While we certainly applaud the work done in secured nursing facilities and hospitals around the state, there is nothing like being at home.  Not only does home care and hospice allow a person to be comfortable in the familiar environments of their home surrounded by people they know and love at all times, it saves money, reduces the risk of infection, and for those are are capable, can aid in recovery time.

Every general support function that can be carried out in an institutional setting can be carried out at home.  Back in 1999 when my dad was at home dying of cancer, I lived that very same scenario that I outlined at the beginning of this article.  I remember the home care nurses coming in.  I was edified by the hospice staff that was called in at the end of my dad’s life.  I was comforted by the fact that he was in his house, in his bedroom, in his bed, surrounded by his family. His passing was a peaceful one and even something I have often considered “beautiful.”

In a previous career I was at a lot of deathbeds helping people transition to the other side and I can say without a doubt that those who had the benefit of receiving care at home for both chronic and terminal ailments had a profoundly deep experience.  Like Dorothy says in the “Wizard of Oz,” “There’s no place like home,” this can’t be better understood that those who have the opportunity to receive their care at home.

If you would like to know more about home care and hospice opportunities or you would like to share your experiences with home care and hospice simply go to ochch.org or follow us @ochchstaff on twitter or find us on Facebook or Linkedin