Most people don’t want to talk about hospice. For many, hearing the word “hospice” is equated with death — a concept that gives many the willies. Even though there shouldn’t be anything inherently disconcerting about death as it’s something we will all eventually experience, the fear and discomfort with the topic endures. While this is the case, fear and anxiety should not be correlated with hospice care.
While the death of patients is something that typically occurs in the process, hospice care is about making the most of the quality of the rest of our lives. If you one were to remove the cultural stigma and connotation of hospice as “the caretakers of the dying” and instead thought of it as “the comfort enhancers of the those very much alive,” who wouldn’t want hospice care at any stage of life? Hospice specialists are caretakers of the dying, yes, but they are not caretakers of the dead. Hospice workers are not angels of death. Instead, every hospice professional is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all of their patients much in the same way we care for the vulnerable of whom we cherish — no matter how far from death they appear.
In order to ensure the highest quality of care for our loved ones, it is high time we squashed the misconception that hospice is about death. Death is not the focus of hospice specialists, but instead the comfort and joy of the living. Hospice is not about defeat, but rather about relief from the struggle. Hospice is not about counting down to the moment of one’s demise but rather embracing the new chapter of living — which many have said is one of the most vibrant stages of their lives. Hospice care is not about sympathetic coddling, but rather about helping to navigate the feelings of experiences yet to be had. Hospice is not about death, but rather about enhanced living.