Tennant: Hospice services in Grand County, Heart of the Mountains Hospice | SkyHiNews.com

Tennant: Hospice services in Grand County, Heart of the Mountains Hospice

Mikee Tennant
Special to the Sky-Hi News

When hospice care is recommended to an individual most people feel that the medical profession has given up on them or that there is no hope. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is understandable that many feel this way but some hospice studies and personal experiences with hospice care may shine a different light on this. There have been many studies done on hospice care. The authors of a study done on hospice care in the New England Journal of Medicine said "with earlier referral to a hospice program, patients may receive care that results in better management of symptoms, leading to stabilization of their condition and prolonged survival". Approximately 15 percent of all hospice patients do get discharged from hospice care because they get better and no longer qualify for hospice services. I have personally seen this and know of an individual that was discharged because he improved and wasn't re-admitted until a year and a half later. Early referral to hospice care appears to be the key to extending life.

Hospice care is palliative care which is a multidisciplinary approach that includes symptom, pain, physical and mental relief. Your own physician is involved with this team of registered nurses, social workers and spiritual counsellors. We look at the whole picture and the patient is in the lead with their desires. This leads me to believe that palliative hospice care is successful because of the holistic approach and not looking at care as a physicality. Hospice care is also about compassion. Health professionals that have been involved in medicine or nursing know what an incredible impact compassion can have on patient outcomes. Many times I have taken care of someone that didn't have any interventions done but say upon leaving how much better they felt. Extending ourselves to each other and letting our love for humanity shine through does much to increase the quality of life. Hospice thrives to extend this kind of care to those who enter our service.

Heart of the Mountains Hospice (HMH) is a nonprofit organization that allows the people of Grand County to have a choice when it comes to end of life planning. The ability to stay in their homes with their loved ones was accomplished with the establishment of HMH in 2002. We are the only available hospice service in our county. Before we were established, anyone requesting hospice care had to leave the county to obtain it. Between Medicare, Medicaid, VA and private insurance, we receive approximately 45% of our funding, the other 55% we have to raise through fund raising, donations and grants. It's challenging work but we are dedicated to having this service available to our community. It is with deep gratitude that we thank those of you who support us, we would not be able to continue if it wasn't for you!

With compassionate caring and the extension of ourselves we are here to serve Grand County.

Mikee Tennant is the executive director of Heart of the Mountains Hospice located in Hot Sulphur Springs. Contact Tennat mikeetennant@gmail.com or 970-725-3378.

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