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Your Healthy Family: Hospice care during the pandemic

Posted at 12:12 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 14:12:37-04

CANON CITY — The current pandemic has brought many things into focus, including how fragile life can be. Hospice care has continued through the pandemic because the important role of caring for people with a terminal diagnosis and their families is a need that certainly hasn't stopped.

Lisa Larsen, is a registered nurse, and serves as the Clinical Director, Vice President of Fremont Regional Hospice in Canon City.

“Hospice has changed a little bit during the pandemic. We can have people in skilled nursing facilities or hospitals and it's very difficult to get in the to see them with all the restrictions and guidelines required of people coming in and out.”

Lisa says for the team at which Fremont Regional Hospice have dealt with the normal challenges most face when wearing a mask are amplified, because facial expressions play a big role in communicating with patients.

“We're all wearing masks and that makes it kind of hard for the elderly who are our patients. They can't see your facial expressions, they can't hear us as well, and that has made a difference when we're wearing our are PPE. I think for some patients it also can be intimidating scary for those people who are dealing with illness.”

What has not changed through the pandemic is the important role hospice plays for those dealing with end of life care and their families.

“I wish everybody understood that hospice can be a positive experience. It actually gives you more time to say goodbye to your loved ones to have the opportunity to say the things that you need. Hospice is not a four-letter word, we are all going to have to deal with the end of life someday, we're all going to be there.”

Lisa also says how you wish to be cared for in your final days is something you should write down and make sure your loved ones know what your wishes are.

“We have family members come in and their loved ones can't really speak for themselves anymore, and they have to make the decisions. That's not fair to their daughters, their granddaughters, their sons or their spouses.”

In future stories we'll be talking more about Fremont Regional Hospice, how to have the difficult conversation with a loved one about end of life care decisions, how palliative care and hospice are different, and the same as well as the grieving process and how hospice care can help with it all.

If you have any questions about the services provided at Fremont Regional Hospice, feel free to give them a call at 719-275-4315. Lisa says they love answering questions, and if their services are not what you need they are happy to get you in touch with the right people.

Fremont Regional Hospice is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family