Our world is full of unknowns, now more than ever. The coronavirus has changed every person’s life. Fear of the unknown is nothing new for anyone who has experience with dying. At Ardent Hospice, we understand that the end of life may be a very difficult time for families, even without a worldwide pandemic and the realities of social distancing.
COVID-19 has not changed what hospice does for a patient or family. It has, however, changed how hospice agencies provide care. Just like in your own home, contact with others is very limited. In order to try to keep safe those most vulnerable to COVID-19, the government, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities have implemented new visitation policies. For those that have a family member currently in one of these locations, you know by now that no personal visitors are allowed. Medical professionals’ access to patients has also been limited in most locations. This can be very unnerving for families especially if their loved one is on hospice. But have no fear! Hospice has responded to this by continuing to provide care even if every visit is not face to face. The use of technology, like video chat and telehealth applications, allows hospice team members to support patients and families. When in-person visits by our staff are made, personal protective equipment is worn. And, when death is near, most facilities allow both family and hospice personnel to be physically present. Please reach out to your loved one’s facility for its specific end-of-life visitation policy.
Whether they contract COVID-19 or not, if your loved one has a terminal illness that could cause them to pass with in the next six months, call us to schedule an evaluation.
Please allow Ardent to be your eyes and ears regarding your loved one during these uncertain times. Let us walk through this journey with you. The dying process is not a comfortable subject, but in the words of the evangelical leader Charles Swindoll, “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it.” Let hospice help you, your family and your loved one during these uncertain times.
Allison Jones-Arrington, Hospice Care Consultant for Ardent Hospice