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Thursday, January 05, 2012 - Hospice Care Provides Comfort in Final Phase of One's Life
Hospice Care Provides Comfort in Final Phase of One’s Life
Munson Hospice offers multi-faceted approach to help region’s residents
 
By Kristin Harrison, BSN, RN
Munson Home Health Business and Marketing Manager

Munson Hospice has provided compassionate end-of-life care for northern Michigan residents and families for the past 50 years.
 
Yet many people, who have never used hospice, wonder what exactly “hospice” and “end-of-life” care really mean.
 
The easiest answer may be that hospice serves those who are diagnosed with a terminal illness and are no longer seeking a cure. Staff not only minister to the needs of the patient, but also to their family with the goal of making the most of the time one has before death.
 
Hospice involves a team-oriented approach to provide comfort care that is individually tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. A Munson Hospice team includes a hospice nurse who is experienced and specialized in pain and symptom control, a medical social worker, and grief support that continues with the family for one year. Care also includes a medical director to collaborate with the patient’s own physician, a chaplain to provide spiritual support or collaborate with the patient’s own spiritual mentor if the patient so chooses, volunteers to meet a multitude of specific patient needs, and aides and therapists to fulfill the mission to manage the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the terminally ill and their loved ones.
 
Hospice care most often is provided in the patient’s home, but it may also take place in a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult foster care, Munson Hospice House, or a hospital.
 
One recipient of Munson Hospice care described their experience this way: “They came when they were needed. They stayed as long as they were needed, and they did what was needed. They just had a welcome, calming effect on all of us.”
 
A 2007 study sponsored by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization showed that hospice patients lived an average of 29 days longer than those terminally ill who did not choose hospice services.
 
Munson Hospice services are available regardless of one’s age, illness, or religion. For more information about Munson Hospice, call 1-800-252-2065.