Mable Davis, a resident of Stanley, NC, turned 101 last December. Just before her birthday, Mable fell and broke her pelvis. As can happen in cases where patients must remain immobile for long periods of time, she developed pneumonia. In February, she was admitted to the hospital to treat her pneumonia, but she just couldn’t seem to get her health back.
By mid-February, Mable was weary of the hospital and efforts to cure her mounting problems. She missed her younger sister, Bobbie May, and was eager to get back to home in a local assisted living center. So, Mable asked if it would be possible for her to go home under hospice care. With her doctor’s blessing, Mable was admitted to Gaston Hospice on February 20, and spent her last days in the hospital under their care working to get her breathing back to normal and her pain under control.
She was able to make the move the first week of March. During the months since, she has seen some improvement and is very happy to be at home with Bobbie.
“Hospice has done a marvelous job,” said Mable. “It has meant the world to me to have them here. They come visit, they let me talk and they have gotten my pain all straightened out.”
Mable’s case is anything but unique. The vast majority of Gaston Hospice’s referrals come from the hospital. “Many times people don’t want to think about hospice care until they’re in the middle of a crisis,” says Dr. Michael Case, Gaston Hospice Medical Director. “Like anything else, it’s easy to put off thinking about tomorrow until you realize that your tomorrow is going to be another day in the hospital. But, the good thing about making that decision in the hospital is that we have the patient’s care plan in place to come up with a solid plan for going home, wherever home may be.”
In Mable’s situation, her goals were to have her pain and symptoms managed and to live out her days in Bobbie’s company. When hospice combines efforts with a professional facility staff, the potential for excellent care is multiplied. In fact, studies have shown that family satisfaction surveys from long-term care facilities show a marked improvement when hospice has been involved in their loved one’s care. Wherever a patient spends their final days, studies link hospice care to better quality of life not only for the terminally ill, but for their families as well.