The decision to put a loved one on hospice is never easy, but it is a decision many of us will have to make. Diane, the daughter of a LightBridge Hospice patient, explains how LightBridge Hospice came alongside not only her mother but was also there as an extra layer of support and comfort to her.
Deciding to put Mom on hospice care was a family decision. At age 95 and after a few falls, her physical health had declined so much she was becoming bedridden and unable to care for herself. As a family, we decided the best choice for her was to get her the medical and emotional support only hospice could provide. After deciding to call Lightbridge Hospice, it was time to talk with Mom about bringing hospice care on board. One of her first comments was, "I'm not dying! I don't need hospice!"
Hospice care can feel like giving up, a sign of no hope, and many are not ready to mentally cross that bridge. But hospice care is about bringing an extra layer of support and care to both the patient and the family.
Having been my mother's primary caregiver, having the hospice conversation was difficult. The stress of caring for her weighed heavily on me, and she could see how anxious and overwhelmed I was becoming. I explained to her that hospice care was not only for her but also for me. Being on hospice care would give us both the tools and resources we needed to navigate this difficult time. I would have someone to call with questions, concerns, or worries, and she would get the medical care I could not provide.
I also explained that once "we" were on hospice, we could terminate their services if she improved over the next few months. A misconception of hospice is that you cannot go off the service once you start receiving care. A patient can end the service and seek alternative care at any time.
For Mom, she didn't have months but only weeks. During that time, I had many questions, and every time I called LightBridge, they answered my questions, provided service and reassurance with love and concern. They were so kind to my Mom, and I felt so supported through this journey.
I am forever thankful to every member of the LightBridge Hospice staff for their professionalism, support, and understanding of the end-of-life journey. We never know how much time we have, and I am glad we called LightBridge when we did. Their services allowed Mom to pass peacefully at home and for me to be my mother's daughter once again, not her caregiver, and I am forever grateful.