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Let’s Talk Hospice!

By Damian Reyes, Community Relations Director, SouthernCare –

Let's Talk HospiceWhen someone asks me what I do for a living, I automatically get excited. I get excited because I get to tell them that I work for a hospice company. Of course, my response isn’t always met with the same enthusiasm. So, I wait. I pay close attention to the body language. I listen to every word coming from the person at the other end of the conversation. Their language always lets me know whether that person really knows what hospice is.

Hospice is Wonderful
Those who have experienced hospice, and have knowledge of what hospice does, sing its praises and champion its philosophy. Their exposure to hospice has made them witnesses of its healing power. They become testaments to its grace. Those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience hospice often have a misconception about what it is and when it should be considered.

Enhancing the Quality of Remaining Life
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s website explains hospice in this way: “Hospice provides support and care for persons in the last phases of an incurable disease so that they may live as fully and as comfortable as possible. Hospice recognizes that the dying process is a part of the normal process of living and focuses on enhancing the quality of remaining life. Hospice affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice exists in the hope and belief that through appropriate care, and the promotion of a caring community sensitive to their needs, that individuals and their families may be free to attain a degree of satisfaction in preparation for death. Hospice recognizes that human growth and development can be a lifelong process. Hospice seeks to preserve and promote the inherent potential for growth within individuals and families during the last phase of life. Hospice offers palliative care for all individuals and their families without regard to age, gender, nationality, race, creed, sexual orientation, disability, diagnosis, availability of a primary caregiver, or ability to pay.”

So, now you see why I am excited to tell people I work for hospice. Where else can you find such a great reward in the work that you do? We, at SouthernCare, believe wholeheartedly in our philosophy of care. We believe because we see that we give people hope when they need it the most.
Hospice is Sacred Work
We attempt to heal the mind, body, and soul of people living with life-limiting illnesses. As our patients, and their families and friends prepare for an inevitable death, we are responsible for ensuring that this stage of life is as rewarding as it is powerful. There are many physical, psychological, and emotional wounds that often need to be healed at the end of life. This is why hospice incorporates psychosocial, medical, and spiritual care all into one. Not one discipline can successfully address the needs of someone who is facing impending death. Ultimately, this is why hospice exists.

When people find out what I do, many of them look back at me with a somber face and say, “Oh, isn’t that sad?” or ,“I couldn’t do that, it would depress me.” Then I know I have some explaining to do. But, one of the greatest feelings is when someone with great sincerity stares straight into my eyes, and says something to the effect of, “Well, my mom was on hospice and I just think you guys are wonderful.” Of course, I couldn’t agree more.

SouthernCare is proud of its new partnership with KC Health & Wellness Magazine. We look forward to the honor and opportunity to bring you, our local community, interesting stories and education about our passion.

For more information, please call SouthernCare at: 816-524-3663 in Missouri or 913-906-9497 in Kansas. You may also visit our website at

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