Sunday, Oct 12, 2003: “Series on Death and Dying: #5”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary

“Series on Death and Dying: #5”

Coordinated and Led by Rev. Deacon George Snyder

Sunday, October 12, 2003



Our guest speaker was Lisa Balster from the Pathways of Hope Department of Hospice of Dayton. 
· The goal of Hospice is to provide a setting where a patient may die with dignity in the place of his choice – free of pain. Hospice wishes to honor life. Their desire is to take the anxiety, tension, and stress of death down.

· Patients are eligible for Hospice care as soon as two physicians agreed that the natural course of the development will be death within six months.
· Patients can be re-certified for Hospice care at the end of six months.
· Some patients go into Hospice care and recover and are removed from the program.
· Other patients get better and leave Hospice care only to return another time.

· Hospice takes a holistic approach deal with the body, disease, and with the spirit.
· Hospice treats the patient, but they also provide help for the family during a patient’s illness – recognizing the a patient’s illness affects more than just the patient.
· Hospice provides services to families of Hospice patients after the patient has died, usually up to at least a year, if the family desires help. 

· There are several Hospice options.
· Hospice can provide care that is billed to Medicare.
· Billing can be to a private insurance company.
· No one is ever turned away because of inability to pay. 

· The Hospice approach is an interdisciplinary one.
· A nurse
· A social worker can be invited
· A chaplain can be invited
· A nurse’s aid
· Crises care can be provide for 8 to 24 hours
· The nursing team teaches the family how to care for the patient.

· Hospice has about 200 people in the Hospice located on Wilmington Avenue; 250 people in various nursing homes (about 100 in the area); 50 in their own homes.
· The Care Center is typically used if the patient is in extreme pain or if a caregiver is unavailable.
· Some Hospice patients want to died away from home, yet not in a hospital setting. Sometimes their thinking is that it will be better for the family if their death does not occur at home.
· Working with Hospice patients is a spiritual journey; the patient, the caregivers, and the interdisciplinary team form a bond.

· Often, as the body withers, the spirit grows.

· Grieving often begins before death, sometimes just for the changes that illness can force upon people.

· A doctor usually refers patients to Hospice; then the Hospice assessment nurse completes an assessment interview.

· Many younger people are Hospice patients.

· People need to make sure that their philosophy concerning the end of life is in agreement with their primary care physician.

· Hospice can provide a space for families to gather in a non-institutional looking setting. Often times these gatherings provide opportunities for families to complete unfinished business with one another.

· Hospice has many needs 
· Volunteers
· Fundraising
· Activity kits for children who are bored and easily scared (bags containing things to help the children occupy their time-markers, art supplies, etc.)
· Choirs often come during the Holiday season; visits during other times would be most welcomed.
· Support for families during the illness and afterwards.