Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hospice and Nursing Homes: Granting Dying Patients’ Last Wishes (Video 2:05 mins.)

This post includes an excerpt from my book, "Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes.” In the last chapter, titled “Baby Boomer Haven,” a patient named Ruth takes readers on a tour of her nursing home, which is based on best practices of limited numbers of nursing homes around the country. This is how she describes the hospice wing:

“Serenity permeates everything that goes on here. Many of our hospice patients enjoy music therapy to help soothe them through various stages of their illnesses. One of our community partners finances a “Wishing Well” project for hospice patients by making a wish come true for them. Recently, a patient had a special visit from a close friend with whom he had lost track for many years. The friend’s trip was financed through the “Wishing Well” project. Two days after their heartwarming reunion, the patient died. At the family’s request, the hospice chaplain coordinated a memorial service held here in our chapel. I was one of many who paid my respects to that kind gentleman.”

© Frances Shani Parker

Granting last wishes of hospice patients is a service provided to enhance quality of life during death journeys. This video shows another example of how fulfilled wishes can enrich patients’ lives.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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