Hospice Is a Choice
At some point in life, most of us will have to make a decision about end-of-life care. Usually the decision is something like: Do we want to pursue aggressive treatment until the end, or choose another option, such as hospice?
“We have the right to choose,” says Maite Hernandez, director of sales training for VITAS. “We have the right to choose, ‘I want everything done; I want acute care to the very end.’ And we have the right to choose, ‘I want to be at home, I don’t want to go into a hospital anymore. I want to die in my bed, surrounded by my family.’”
Education Is Key
As a result of years of listening to people’s hospice experiences, Hernandez believes it’s important for everyone in the community to be informed about end-of-life care, including the range of services known as palliative care and hospice care.
“We have the right to talk to our physicians and the medical community and say, ‘Hey, I heard about hospice. Would my loved one be a candidate for this type of service?’” she says.
Ask questions. Do research. Learn what you can. Explore options. That way, you’re doing everything in your power to make the best choice when the time comes.