Patients and Pets
Sherry Little, Executive Director, Home Hospice of Grayson, Cooke & Fannin Counties, Texoma and Denton LIVING WELL Magazines (formerly SENIOR Magazine)
As we age, become ill, and ultimately walk through our final journey, we tend to lose the life we have built over the years; not all at once, but in bits and pieces, giving up one thing today and something else tomorrow. Hospice care focuses on physical comfort through the expert control of physical pain and symptoms associated with the final phase of life, which makes an enormous difference in our ability to enjoy each moment left to us. But not all pain is physical. Hospice care also focuses on helping patients achieve emotional and spiritual comfort.
The pain of loneliness and isolation can be a huge and painful part of dying. For many individuals, emotional comfort comes from the love and support of family; and for some that family affection and support is found in the companionship of their pet. Having a long-time companion remain at one’s side goes a long way toward alleviating loneliness. Frequently, due to declining physical condition, patients cannot provide the daily care necessary to maintain their pet’s health, which can result in a painful separation from that important companion at a time when comfort is the primary goal.
Pet Peace of Mind is a program established with the support of the Banfield Charitable Trust, which allows Home Hospice of Grayson, Cooke and Fannin Counties to support the health and care of hospice patients’ pets through the provision of volunteer services. It helps maintain the relationship that provides much-needed comfort for a patient during one of life’s most significant journeys. Volunteers are trained to help with regular care such as feeding and walking. Community partners are available to help with additional needs such as pet health and grooming concerns. Additionally, consideration is given to loving placement of the pet when necessary, to provide peace of mind for the patient and good care for the pet.
For more information, visit www.hospicehospice.org, call 903-868-9315, or visit Home Hospice on Facebook.