By Fiona Pearce
Why is it that we find it so hard to talk about death and dying? I am not suggesting that we should think of nothing else! But at the very least everyone should make a living will and let your family know a few basic wishes for the end of your life. Given a choice, wouldn’t most people prefer to spend their final days at home, in familiar surroundings with family and friends around them?
Hospice of St. Francis recognizes this and offers many forms of support for patients and their families in their home - whether that is an assisted living facility or private home.
Since retiring I have volunteered with Hospice of St. Francis and have become involved in various aspects of their work; I sit with patients while the caregiver has a break to run errands or have some time for themselves, I have spent time with dementia patients to brighten their day and I help with a bereavement group.
We stay in touch with the family after the death of the loved one to offer help and support. Our social workers offer counseling on the phone, individually and at various group gatherings throughout the county and at different times and locations.
Our mission statement is “Uplifting Lives, Uplifting Each Other, Uplifting Our Community”. Our Hospice of St. Francis staff and volunteers take this mission to heart. We also gain so much from supporting those in need at the time of death. I am so grateful to feel that I can contribute in some small way to Hospice of St Francis, their patients and families.
This is what I would choose when I am facing the end of my life.