Blog

Our own Chaplain Matt Metevelis published this last year in Vegas Inc. Magazine. We thought it would be a good article to re-post so please share with anyone you think could benefit from it. 

The holidays can be relentless. Starting with displays showing up in stores after Labor Day, they continue with an avalanche of reminders, swallowing up an entire month in shopping, cooking, parties and family gatherings.

While the season is joyous, it can also be a season of stress. For those coping with the loss of a loved one, this stress is compounded. Reminders of happier times, disruptions in plans, empty spaces at family tables, and the societal stress to be happy and joyful can trigger increasing and vivid pain in those dealing with loss. It is never easy to grieve, but during the holidays, grief can become overwhelming.

The Army had been Joseph’s* entire life. After Joseph retired, he and his wife of over 50 years, Laura,* looked forward to a happy and peaceful retirement. 

However, this Veteran had one more battle to fight. His body remained strong, but his mind began to fail. Laura watched in despair as her husband began to lose the war with dementia. She cared for him the best she could, but by the time his 80th birthday rolled around, it was clear this was an enemy he could not defeat. 

We are honored to participate in the Before I Die ... Wall project as part of our National Hospice Month observance.

The Before I Die ... Wall is a project that has drawn awareness to the end-of-life conversation in 78 countries and 36 languages. 

  • Are you feeling anxious about deciding where your loved one should spend their final days, weeks, or months?
  • Do you want your loved one cared for in their home, yet don’t feel prepared? 
  • Would you be surprised to learn that most people prefer to die in their own home?

 

What matters most at a time like this?

Given a choice, most of us prefer to be at home when we are not feeling well. You will be interested to know that it’s no different for people at the end of life. Research shows that most people with a terminal illness prefer to be cared for in the place they call home. Their home may be a private residence or the home of a loved one, an assisted living center, or perhaps a skilled nursing facility. 

Over 90% of Nathan Adelson Hospice patients receive care in the place they call home. We bring our professional care team to our patients, no matter where they reside. Should the need arise for acute pain and symptom management, patients may receive care in one of our inpatient facilities.   

The hospice care team is made up of different specialties.

It takes a variety of skilled professionals to deal with the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual care a terminally ill patient needs. Most families would find it impossible to assemble such a team. Hospice does this for you, using an interdisciplinary team trained in end-of-life care. 

We have walked this path before.

These team members know what patients and families will go through as they enter hospice. Time and again, they see what a patient is likely to experience during the end-of-life journey – so they work closely with you, your loved one and each other to optimize care at every stage. This approach results in better patient and family outcomes than when individual health professionals work in isolation.

  • Have you seen a diminished quality of life due to the treatment of a long-term illness?
  • Are you or your loved one experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety, and new forms of depression while dealing with a long-term illness?
  • Are you open to adding natural treatments to alleviate undesirable symptoms?

What can help with the stress of end-of-life issues?

Patients may experience high levels of emotional stress and anxiety as they deal with end-of-life issues.  Even though patients are no longer searching for a cure, they can still benefit from compassionate care therapies. Many patients and their loved ones have found that Complementary Therapies help ease their discomfort.

The Nathan Adelson Story

Nathan Adelson was a beloved hospital administrator following a long, painful battle with stomach cancer, Mr. Adelson passed away. His family and friends realized that Southern Nevada lacked the expertise in end of life care so that terminally ill people could receive professional, compassionate and dignified end-of-life care. To honor Adelson’s memory, they worked to establish Nevada’s first hospice in 1978 and named it after their dear friend.  

You are exploring hospice for a very good reason.

If you are looking into hospice, it means you are coming to terms with the end-of-life journey for you or someone for whom you care. Understandably, people find this stressful, go through some soul-searching, and struggle with new, unfamiliar responsibilities. As overwhelming as it may seem, choosing hospice will be a wise choice. With a caring hospice team as your partner, the difficult days ahead will also bring compassion, care, and hands-on support. No one wants their loved ones to go through this critical time alone, afraid or in pain. Yet many families don’t feel equipped to handle the specialized care needed for their loved one. 

Wendell’s Story

Wendell was a caring father and husband. When he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, the family knew this would be hard for everyone. By the time the doctors found the cancer in Wendell’s lungs, it had metastasized to his hip bone. Wendell made multiple trips back and forth between the hospital and a nursing home as his health steadily declined. Finally, Wendell chose to begin receiving hospice care in his nursing home so that he could have the best quality of life during his final days.  

Are you or a loved one wondering what to expect from hospice care?

When people hear the word “hospice,” they generally know it has something to do with end-of-life care. But what is it really? What kind of care? Are there rules that determine what happens to the patient? What about the patient’s family? The purpose of hospice is to provide care, support, and comfort to patients and their family members when an illness can no longer be cured. Millions of Americans have experienced hospice firsthand, yet some misunderstandings persist. So when the subject of hospice care (or comfort care) comes up for you or a loved one, you may not know what happens during the end-of-life journey of care. As the oldest, largest, and only nonprofit hospice in Southern Nevada, we want to answer some of the most often asked questions.

Before and after a death, bereavement support helps individuals cope with the loss of a loved one

As the journey of life comes to an end, a patient’s spiritual care is one of the most important things to address. We recognize that each patient understands spirituality differently and approaches death with their own unique experiences, ideas, values, hopes, needs, and life stories. Caring for a patient’s spiritual needs in hospice begins with understanding their expectations, beliefs, and boundaries. This work is done by our spiritual care specialists who speak with you and the people closest to you so that we better understand how you want to approach the dying process. This type of care is for everyone – for people with strong spiritual beliefs, for people struggling with their spiritual beliefs, or for people who claim no spiritual beliefs at all. 

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