The compassionate, experienced professionals at Hospice at Home of Arizona want to dispel several myths about hospice and inform the community of the tremendous worth of hospice care to those who could benefit from the services.
Chris Allen, MD, medical director, says their hope is to help people be “as comfortable and as pain-free as possible during this time.”
Hospice isn’t just for someone’s final few days, and it isn’t only for cancer patients. A person whose life expectancy has been diagnosed as six months or less is eligible. Someone might even receive hospice for longer, then have months of remission. It will again be available when the need returns.
Some patients are hesitant to begin hospice because they want to continue with their primary care physician. Jerry Owensby, MD, the medical director for Hospice at Home of Arizona, works together with a patient’s primary care physician to provide care that is individualized to the patient’s end of life goals.
This year, Dr. Owensby was voted in Phoenix Magazine’s 2015 Top Doc Issue as one of the 15 best internal medicine physicians.
Dr. Owensby is concerned that many people put off preparing for the end of their mortal life. He says the sooner a person chooses a hospice provider, the better the person’s end of life wishes can be met.
“The big message is to get a consultation early, versus later,” she says. “Don’t be afraid of it.”
Brett Bacchus, director of business development, knows personally what a gift hospice can be to the entire family. His father, Steve, while succumbing to pancreatic cancer, was adamant about not dying in a hospital. During his final five weeks of life, the hospice team treated him in his home and was an incredible support to Brett’s mother. Since Brett and his brother lived in a different state, they were particularly grateful for that assistance. Steve was kept comfortable enough to enjoy visits with life-long friends and his final days with Brett and the rest of their family.
“Most people want to die in their home,” says Bonna Longo, administrator for Hospice at Home of Arizona. “And if that’s their goal, our goal is to keep them there too.”
Brett adds that “home is wherever they reside.”
The hospice team includes specially-trained physicians, nurses, social workers, volunteers, bereavement counselors, spiritual counselors, etc. Being Latter-day Saints themselves, Dr. Owensby and Dr. Allen understand the unique perspective of LDS patients and families.
Medicare pays 100 percent of hospice, and most private insurance plans include a hospice benefit.
“There are no additional costs to the patient and family,” says Brett.
For more information, see http://hospicehomeaz.com. Call
480-478-0643 for a complimentary consultation