Funerals Become All Too Common Events When You Reach a Certain Age

A pair of leather boots and a light weight jacket in the laundry room.

A green duffle bag and an iPad.

It is difficult to believe that just a few months ago you found yourself mildly irritated that every time your 87 year old father visited he left something at your house. Sometimes the forgotten items would remain at your house for a few weeks until you traveled to see your father or he finally made his way back to your home. Other times, your father would return the next day, driving the six hours round trip immediately he realized that something had been forgotten. In the case of the leather boots and jacket, your dad was in no rush to come retrieve the items. When he realized that he had forgotten the iPad, however, he returned the next day to reclaim what he sometimes jokingly called his pacifier. As a way to pass time in the morning after breakfast, after lunch, and again in the evening, often both your dad and his wife will play and watch television for hours.

When the weather is good and in the mornings when your father is full of energy he is out playing cards with his friends, working in one of his shops, or mowing on one of his riding tractors, your dad has been none to work for hours on end. When it comes time to rest, however, the iPad is all he really needs. And it was the forgotten iPad that warranted your dates next day return trip.

Today, you only wish your father could forget some more things in your house. After nearly two weeks in hospice care last month, your father passed peacefully at home.

In his recliner.
With his iPad in his lap.

Saying Good Bye to Friends in Hospice Care Can be Mildly Comforting

Tomorrow you will say goodbye to one of your favorite teaching colleagues. You and this teacher could not have been more different. He was no nonsense while you are all about the nonsense. He was very tidy, you are not. He did not have to fill every empty space with chatter, you talk nonstop. What you did share, however, was a desire to help kids. He treated each student who entered his classroom with respect and made sure they learned something each day. He was prepared each and every day to make a difference in a young person’s life both in the classroom and on the soccer field. It was a privilege to work with him for most of two decades.
Whether you are recently mourning the loss of a parent or a work colleague, death is rarely easy. When your loved ones are in hospice care at home or in a hospital you often have time to prepare yourself for the end. when a death occurs suddenly, though, the shock can add to the troubles that you face. And while not all people will spend he last days of their lives in hospice care, it certainly can be a comfort for families who do.

Consider these facts and figures about the many benefits that holistic hospice care facilities can offer both patients, as well as their friends and family members:

  • Only 5.4% of hospice patients in th year 2015 were under the age of 65.
  • The history of hospice dates back to the 11th century, when a religious order of monks established hospitals along a pilgrimage road leading to the city of Jerusalem.
  • Hospice typically starts after a formal referral has been made. After the referral, a hospice representative will then visit the patient within 48 hours.
  • As an opportunity to expand the offerings, Senators Frank Church and Frank E. Moss introduced the first hospice legislation to provide funding for these programs back in 1974.
  • As many as 1.381 million Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Hospice for 24 hours or more in the year 2015 alone.
  • The number of hospice patients grew from 513,000 in the year 2000 to nearly 1.4 million in 2015. these enrolled patients are served by Hospice staff members who are on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Death is not easy, but hospice care can make it more manageable.