Handling the Truth
By Sherry Little, Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine
Knowing the truth about a life-limiting prognosis may be tough to hear, but hospice patients and families have said it can result in a gift––that of spending remaining time well, focusing energies and resources on what is truly important. It’s different for everyone, of course, but many people appreciate the chance to mend a relationship, put affairs in order, write memoirs, take a trip, or tackle some of the things on their “bucket list.”
Sometimes, patients and/or families categorize those days as “really good;” even the “best time.” With the appropriate guidance and support that Home Hospice provides, the last journey is characterized by pain management, helpful information to guide critical decision-making, assistance for families, and utilization of community and other resources. It starts with clear communication about your specific situation and what matters most––to you. To your family.
If you don’t know, you might not have the chance to do what you consider important.
A recently released survey of Americans indicates that we expect and want our physician and other healthcare providers to be honest with us regardless of how difficult the information is to deliver, or to hear. It also indicates that, understandably, physicians experience great difficulty in delivering “bad news” and are often reluctant to do so. If you want to know, ask.
There are many decisions that are best made with accurate information. You will want to convey your wishes to family and have the peace of mind that comes from knowing those will be respected.
In some cases, patients say they suspected how serious their condition was, but their families didn’t want to face the inevitable. Home Hospice supports families as well as patients, in having the important conversations. They provide a range of services for families, not only now, but afterward.
If you are facing a challenging prognosis, it may be time to explore hospice care so you and your family can make this time all it can possibly be. For information visit www.homehospice.org.