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A Good Life; A Good Death

How hospice care helps families at their time of greatest need

Martin stressed the important role family often plays in the hospice equation. She said, "They are not only going to give love and emotional support, but eventually they are going to be doing the caregiving, which will increase as the patient’s condition declines." The team approach underlying hospice care can't be underestimated, however, because it enables medical professionals and specially trained volunteers to do things like fill prescriptions, make consultations, or just sit with the patient and hold their hand. These shared contributions give caregivers the relief they need to give patients the kind of care they deserve.

When recalling the level of assistance she received from Community Hospices, Marjorie Elliott said she could never have kept Henry at home without it. "If I needed something," she said, "I could call them 24 hours a day."

According to Martin, this level of support is hospice's greatest gift. "People don’t want to die in pain," she said, "and they want to be around the people they love most in the world. And that’s what hospice services can provide."

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