Reynolds: Hospice is not just end of life care

Published 11:14 am Friday, November 28, 2014

Johnny Reynolds knows a lot of people hate the word hospice.

Just the name of this specialized medical care can trigger feelings of sadness because it often means a loved one is close to death. It doesn’t mean caregivers are giving up though, Reynolds told the Port City Kiwanis last week.

“Hospice is care, comfort and compassion for the whole family,” said Reynolds, palliative care coordinator for Hospice Advantage.

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While many hospice patients are made comfortable for their last days, some do recover, Reynolds said.

“A lot of times people say that hospice means that’s the end and the doctors have given up,” Reynolds “I beg to differ. It’s a positive care approach.”

Reynolds said Hospice Advantage sends dedicated nurses and doctors to patients and makes sure they get the dignified care they deserve.

“We make sure even if you’re ornery and don’t want us there that we keep coming back,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to take care of you.”

The key to providing great hospice care is making the family the center of the program. Family members can chose to stop hospice care at any time for their loved ones, he said.

“You have the opportunity to do that and try something else,” Reynolds said.

Hospice also allows family members an opportunity to avoid being burned by caring for their loved ones, he said.

“Sometimes you need that extra care. We have volunteers who will come stay at the house while you can do something for four hours or so,” Reynolds said.