Hospice SLO County Blogs

I am moved by the gratitude of the caregivers for what seems to be so little for me to give.

“Educating about end of life care and how each of us owes it not only to ourselves but also to our loved ones to make sure our wishes are thought out, expressed, and documented is a passion for me. Hospice SLO County offers assistance with accessing, understanding and completing Advance Healthcare Directives and POLST without charge. If you have an interest in getting started on the conversation, call (805) 544-2266.”

"You will not find a more worthy organization that holds up your community in the very worst of times at no charge to anyone, ever".

Hospice Threshold Singers has been a saving grace in my life. The group continues to grow under Ruth Baile’s compassionate, encouraging, committed leadership giving all of us a chance to sing at the bedside of people and pets on the threshold of their lives.

Concentrate on living in the moment every day rather than thinking your life may be coming to an end soon. Celebrate each day by doing something that brings you joy. Plan activities for the upcoming weeks and note your plans on your calendar. My doctors predicted I had about two months to live. That was nine months ago, and I am still enjoying my dream of being a writer.

As a Trauma/General Surgeon I’ve encountered many people near the end of their lives. I saw many deaths from tragedies. I am always amazed by how few people and their families are prepared for end-of-life issues. I saw how many people debilitated by disease and infirmity have exhausted their caregivers. I discovered how frequently getting sick and hospitalized led to a transition to a nursing home rather than going home because there just weren’t enough resources so that the patient could go back home.

For one year now I have given my time as an In-Home Volunteer with Hospice SLO. We focus on providing emotional comfort and companionship to our client, and respite care for the caregiver. I know personally that we as End-Of-Life Doulas make a difference to our client and to the family members. Recently one of my clients died and while I talked to her husband afterwards he expressed his thanks for knowing there was someone else who knew his wife, who cared about her, who sat beside her, and also was there for him as he needed to talk about her and his future without her.

"Hospice SLO County has made my disability much less impacting to me. It has freed me up to do other things that I can do and allowed me to have more energy to enjoy my life. It is a bright spot amongst my challenges" said Denise.

Grief is such a personal thing and a universal thing at the same time. Something I had found well-meaning friends at home could not entirely grasp. But here, at Hospice SLO, the playing field was leveled. I COULD TALK ABOUT THE LOSS OF MY SPOUSE, MY BEST FRIEND, MY CHOSEN LIFE PARTNER, AND CRY, knowing that my inner pain was understood and accepted.  We all shared a common loss.