Thursday, January 15, 2015

Moments of Life

When your loved one is really sick it’s heartbreaking. It’s even more heartbreaking when they have to go in to hospice. When my Grandma Rose was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, we knew that it was time to say our good byes. My Grandma Rose had many heart problems. She had two open heart surgeries sixteen years apart. My grandma was 88 years old. She also had Alzheimer’s disease. Her health had been declining over the last few years of her life. She was in the hospital on and off. We knew that she would need hospice care. She was in assisted living before she went to the hospital but with the new diagnosis and her age, there wasn’t really much the doctors could do. My Grandma Rose was a very strong person. She was a fighter. There were times that we were told by her doctors to say good bye before surgeries. She always made it out unscathed. My family felt comfort knowing that since she was in hospice that she would be taken care of and made comfortable. My Grandma lived such an amazing life. She had a loving husband, a great family, many friends and she helped anyone she could. We knew we weren’t giving up, we were just making the last days of her life the best they could be.

You sometimes know when it’s time for them to go to Heaven. As much as you don’t want it to happen, it does.  She had family visiting with her every day. She needed medical care but, being in the hospital wasn’t something she liked. Being in the hospital was not ideal, it would have been too heartbreaking and difficult for her to be at a family member’s home, because she needed extra care that we weren’t trained to do.  It was challenging with her Alzheimer’s, because she didn’t know what was going on at all. We made sure to find a great hospice program for her. It was affiliated with the catholic hospital which is important to my Grandma Rose. Her faith was number one.

I will never forget the last time I saw my Grandma Rose. It was so hard for me because she was my best friend. When it was time for me to leave, I said I love you Grandma. She said I love you more. That was our special thing that we had been doing for years. I feel like God gave me a special gift because it was like there was no Alzheimer’s disease. There was no who are you or what am I doing here? It was just us. As soon as I walked out of the room, I started bawling. It was such a hard and sad moment and on the other hand something that I hold very dear to my heart. She was able to be herself to every family member that day.  I knew she was in good hands. The day my grandma passed away, we knew that she was probably going to heaven that night. I decided not to be there when it happened. I was not taking this well. My mom and aunt were holding her hands when she took her last breath. My mom called me and there was an ocean of tears.

Sometimes when your loved one goes in to hospice, they still have a whole lot of living to do. There isn’t a time limit for them. There is no expiration date stamp. There is a misconception with hospice as giving up, it's not though.  Hospice can enrich their lives. They can learn new skills and be always greeted with a smile. Sometimes in the hospital, the staff doesn’t always have a smile on their faces. People who work in hospice want to be there. They have a passion for their patients. Many times being at home is not possible without medical training.  Most people hate to be in the hospital or even visit them. With hospice it’s like home with many caring people by their side. 

Moments of Life
The goal of Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice is to educate the public about the choices we all have when facing a life-limiting illness, and how choosing hospice is not ‘giving up.
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 50,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health, including palliative and hospice care for
For more information on what to expect from hospice check out Moments of Life.

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