Thought For The Day 06/05/13

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Do You Know What Hospice Is?

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hospice_circle_care

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Peace my heart…

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

Rabindranath Tagore

http://www.allspirit.co.uk/dying.html

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Do you understand exactly what Hospice is? Most people do not. Most people think a Hospice is a place. And in some communities, it is! In some communities, it is a place where someone for whom a cure for disease is no longer a possibility, will go to be kept in comfort for the days that are left to them. However Hospice is so much more than a place. You see, Hospice is a concept! Hospice is a vision! Hospice is a gift! Hospice is LOVE!

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Hospice is a multidisciplinary approach, designed to provide comfort and support to both patients and their families when a physician has determined that an illness is no longer likely to respond favorably to curative measures. It is at this time that a care plan is developed by a team whose most important member is the PERSON WHO IS ILL and their FAMILY. Joining them in the planning is the PHYSICIAN, usually a Hospice NURSE, sometimes a SOCIAL WORKER, often a CHAPLAIN or MINISTER, usually a HOME HEALTH AIDE, and often a team of VOLUNTEERS! Their mission? To design a plan of care with a goal of optimizing a patient’s QUALITY OF LIFE by providing the medical care and symptom control (pain management) that will afford the person for whom care is being rendered COMFORT, but even more importantly, DIGNITY during their last days. And in case you were wondering…..NO, Hospice care does not prolong a person’s life nor does it hasten a person’s death.

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The modern concept of Hospice was first envisioned by Dr. Cicely Saunders in Great Britain in the 1960’s and the it “crossed the pond” to the United States in 1974, with Connecticut the first state to have a Hospice program officially established. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, of which I am a proud member, today there are more than 4,700 programs in the United States and in 2007, nearly 1.4 million people received Hospice Services. About 80% of Hospice patient’s received services in their homes. The remaining 20% received care in an inpatient facility. [http://www.nhpco.org/]

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The Bible is consistent and clear about what our responsibility is (or at least should be) to our elderly and our sick. And while the Lord does not minimize other requirements necessary for salvation…..things such as faith, prayer, sacraments, chastity, truth and honesty, there is one thing that He views as an absolute imperative by which our living must be guided. This includes the way we treat each other, especially those who are infirmed, whether in body or in spirit! Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV), sums it up beautifully by reminding us, 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ And I can not think of anything that fits the Hospice concept more perfectly, than this! Actually, I can not think of any concept that fits Matthew 19:19 (NIV), 19 ‘honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’, than this, either, since it is usually our parent who receives the benefit of this gift of love during the days that are left…..when the time of living is at an end!

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So if you are beginning to face either your own ending of days of the ending of days of a loved one, remember there are gifts that can yet be shared. And they are gifts that will reap you bountiful rewards in this life, AND in the next! Speak with your physician to start the process and referrals will be made based on what you will need and what your insurance will cover (Hospice care is a covered benefit under nearly all insurance policies here in the United States), and when the time is appropriate, referrals will be initiated. It is the greatest gift you can give those you love and yourself! Allow your parting one from the other to be joyful and memory creating experience for you both!

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In the following video, the President of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Donald Schumacher, provides information about Hospice care. Donald covers the different types of hospice care that are available. He also provides advice on how to select a hospice and how to know when your loved ones are ready for Hospice care.

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“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, ‘Life is not pleasant anymore.’ Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.”

Ecclesiastes 12:1-3 (NLT)

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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