You're on a hospice visit.
He speaks, with a glimmer in his eye.


"All of you from hospice say you'll be here, for me and my family."

"Now, how will you be here for my kids? My grandchildren?"
" I always tried to protect and provide for my family. But when my wife died ... well ... it hasn't been long. Losing her ... it broke our hearts."

"I want to know they'll have better support through this--my dying--than when we lost her. How will you do this?"

A wave of compassion sweeps through you for this husband-father-grandfather.
You reply, "How hard. What a great question. We'll be sure they know how to tend your medicines and supplies; to see if you're in pain or having other changes."

You smile as you start checking patient education boxes in your EMR documentation.
You tell him about your hospice's wonderful team members, volunteers, and on-call. You point to the wealth of information in the admission packet and hospice brochures on the bedside table, here in his son's home.

He's quiet. Pensive. "But, that's all about them taking care of me. You've said, you'll be here for them , too."

You lean in to hear more deeply, "Tell me more."
He's concise and precise.
He speaks with no shame or blame.

He tells that her death happened so fast. Such shock. Conflicted decisions. Different ways of grieving and coping. It's replaying itself, now.

"My son's doing so much for me. He deserves support from his brother and sisters. Not resistance."

"To top it off, a bunch of 'em are searching the Internet for vitamins and treatments to cure me. What they need to find is stuff that'll help them cope with me being so sick, and ..." (he pauses) ... "with us all having lost my wife ."
You validate their grief and fear; his wisdom and courage. You offer, "We can have a Family Plan of Care meeting together, right here in this room, with whomever you want, all together. They can ask questions. Express concerns. You can voice whatever you want, to all of them. What matters most is what you want. We can develop family plans together.

He sighs. "That's what I want. But, they live all over. A couple have to fly in. Several grandkids are in college. We'll probably never all be in the same room until my funeral. What good am I, then?" He chuckles, and you join.
(You check your EMR. Yes. Their long distance locations were there, all along.)
It hits you. Quickly, you find information from your Clinical Team meeting, yesterday. This new technology you wrote off as being im -personal can help you all be in -person, better.

You recall discussions. This HIPAA Compliant Web Meeting works like Skype or Facetime, but more people can log in from more locations, and with electronic HIPAA security.

Yes, your hospice can facilitate even better Family Plan of Care meetings than before.
Also, all of them --immediately--can find expert, engaging information to help them cope. It's in your hospice's new, 24/7 online video library: "Family Support Through Serious Illness."

You find it on your smartphone. There's a group of videos called "Family and Friends." You ask him if these might help his family. (You want to watch these, too!)
And, there's another group about "Grief." His eyes well up with tears. He nods.
You write your website's address for his son and daughter-in-law to share with others, in emails or on Facebook.
Today, you're seeing better, from his eyes.
Today, you're hearing better, here.
You are being here for them.
With them.
Better. Faster. Easier.
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How can your hospice provide these online services, too?
Composing Life Out of Loss has developed timely online services to strengthen your compassionate care with your hospice and palliative patients, caregivers, and their families. Examine how we can equip you to ...

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