Hospice Can Help You Look Forward To Tomorrow
Hospice Can Help You Look Forward To Tomorrow
By MaryAnn Opal
Ready to take on the day, you stop at your local Starbucks for a latte to get you going. The gal at the counter looks as if she might have had some morning stress, but she smiles politely and asks, “What can I get for you today?” You order your regular and she smiles and sends you on your way. You don’t think of her again during your busy day.
As you’re headed to the office you get a call - little Tommy’s teacher – he has forgotten his lunch, again. She repeats today’s lunch options twice as you weave through traffic, trying to concentrate on her words. She kindly makes a suggestion and agrees to let you square up later in the week. You hang up, relieved and appreciative. You make a mental note to send a “thank you,” even as you begrudgingly admit to yourself that you will probably never get around to it.
You pull into the office parking lot a little late, and a lot frazzled. As you walk through the foyer, the receptionist greets you with a smile and a pleasant hello, but you’re so focused you forget to make eye contact, and the hello that you meant to speak stays in your throat.
Lunch time! Already? Nope. Not today. A bit exasperated, you take a deep breath and begin to make great headway into today’s workload. Your phone buzzes and you glance at it, ugh, the alarm for your dental appointment this afternoon. It’s been on the books far too long; you really can’t miss it again. You grab your half empty Starbucks and walk briskly to your car. Traffic, as always, is congested. Finally, you get to your appointment. You nearly run through the door. As you sink into the dentist’s chair, you take another deep breath. The dentist greets you with a kind hello - though his voice sounds a little strained - and a warm smile.
In the car, headed back to the office, you begin to you feel like you may have a couple of hours solid worktime, and are thankful.
Before you know it, it’s 5:00! There were seasons in life when you could have ignored the clock, but this isn’t one. You leave your desk a mess and head for the car. As you’re driving, your mind turns to home. How can you possibly walk through that door with a smile, with energy, with compassion, after the day you’ve had? But once you open that door, you are a caregiver. And then the thought occurs to you… the barista, the teacher, the receptionist, the dentist, any or all of them may be going home just to begin their other job – caregiving.
Caregivers are everyday people, with everyday jobs, that go home to overwhelming responsibilities. They are heroes. Unrecognized, but heroes all the same. They have a job for which they were not trained, yet somehow, they grow to meet the task. Their reward is not a paycheck; loss and grief is what they anticipate, yet they continue giving their all. The next time you see a caregiver, give them an extra smile, hug, or better yet, acknowledge that you see how much they are sacrificing; physically, emotionally, and often financially, to accept the ultimate job of an unsung hero, a caregiver.
Hospice can ease the burden of caregiving. Hospice is full of hope. Some hospice patients experience an improvement in their health, often a result of the solicitous care and benefits of the hospice care team; some even choose to graduate from hospice as their daily condition improves.
Hospice is not a death sentence; it’s a life sentence! There is a common misconception that choosing hospice means giving up hope. The facts about hospice, however, prove otherwise. Diminishing hope? Hardly. Given the time, hospice actually relieves suffering, promotes dignity and facilitates closure for patients and their families. Those are the benefits of hospice care.
The hospice team’s mission is to care for the patient wherever they may call home, whether that’s in a retirement community, assisted living or private residence.
Hospice patients gain a sense of relief and control. Regular visits from the medical team get pain and other symptoms under control and prevent emergency hospital visits. Chats with the support team; social worker or chaplain address emotional pain. Slowly, a hospice patient - and their family - begin looking forward to tomorrow.
MaryAnn Opal is the Community Liaison at All Seasons Healthcare. She has decades of experience in marketing and events - most of those years have been dedicated to bringing smiles to faces of the thousands of seniors with whom she has been involved. MaryAnn is the founder of Girl, You’ve Got This, a women’s empowerment circle, created to help women find their authentic self. She also holds certifications in Laughter Therapy, Reiki, Emotional Freedom Tapping, Energy Healing, Guided Meditation, and Life Coaching. Through her debut book, I Can’t Be Dead, MaryAnn has had a profound impact on numerous lives by sharing her story with them. In her free time, MaryAnn enjoys reading, writing, dancing, oceans, mountains, and spending time with family and friends; both human and fur-babies.
If you have any questions about hospice, please contact MaryAnn Opal at All Seasons Hospice, Irmo, SC.
MaryAnn@AllSeasonsHealthSC.com or 803.602.0300.