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Hospice Hawaii Molokai is a Way of Caring

Community Contributed

Quality hospice care can make the difference between unbearable pain symptoms, overwhelming stress and living peacefully and as pain free as possible to the very end of life.  Hospice Hawaii Molokai is a way of caring; not a place. We are home-centered and have a team approach in our focus on the patient and their family.  We promote living with dignity and caring for one another.

A decision to use hospice services does not mean that you are giving up. It is an affirmation of the meaning of your life. It allows you to optimize the time you have, control symptoms, and do the necessary things you need to do.  Choosing hospice care means choosing to optimize the quality of life.  It is not a curative treatment but serves to promote the comfort and peace of the patient and the family.

Dealing with symptoms related to a terminal illness involves unique applications of medications and ways of administering them in a way that provide for the patient’s comfort and wellbeing. Many physicians and nurses, who are not experienced in hospice care, do not know how to deal with these symptoms and pain management.   Hospice care is a special kind of care that accepts dying as a natural part of life. When death is inevitable, hospice seeks neither to hasten nor postpone it.

And that’s why we focus not only on physical needs, but also on social and spiritual needs of the ohana.  As the hospice chaplain I support the patient, family and caregivers in dealing with the unknown and the crisis that often accompanies the approach of death.  My role is not to get anyone to join a particular church or religion.  It is to help clarify what you believe and to support each one to find hope in the midst of sometimes confusing feelings.  Often that means reconnecting with others.  Hopefully it also means connecting with God, to provide the assurance so necessary at times like this.  I encourage everyone to use this gift of time to say five things to each other.  I love you.  Thank you.  I forgive you.  Will you forgive me?  And finally, goodbye.

Speak with others who have recently used hospice services and seek their opinions. A recent personal experience with hospice is perhaps the best indicator of the type of care provided.

Lynette Schaefer, Hospice Hawaii Molokai chaplain

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