Monday, April 2, 2012

Hospice + Dementia: Are Bereaved Families Satisfied? (Research, Alzheimer’s Video Poem 2:24)

Through the years, I have had many occasions to work with families of hospice patients who had dementia. For many relatives, experiencing a loved one’s mental decline is extremely difficult. Hospice workers can offer greatly needed support to families adjusting to these changes and in maintaining quality of life for patients.

When the death journey is over, how do bereaved families rate the hospice services their deceased loved ones who died from dementia received? Hospice-related dementia research examining the effectives of hospice services was done with 260 of 538 bereaved family member respondents from five states. The following hospice ratings from bereaved families were reported:

1) Fewer unmet needs and concerns with quality of care

2) Higher rating of the quality of care

3)    Better quality of dying than those without hospice services
This research from the perspectives of bereaved family members affirms satisfaction with hospice services for patients with dementia.
My own personal interactions as a hospice volunteer serving nursing home residents with dementia were quite inspiring. I can truthfully say that our time together was mutually beneficial. One thing I know for sure is that I became a better person. Titled Pieces of Our Minds, this original video poem conveys my thoughts about what it is like inside the minds of people with dementia.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.

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