Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Prison Hospice Success Secrets (Research, Video 2:54)

It is estimated that 20% of America’s prison population will be elderly by 2025. Many will eventually need quality end-of-life care. More prisons are establishing hospice programs for an aging prison population. Inmate hospice volunteers play an important role. If a terminally ill patient is in prison, attentive caregiving can be especially beneficial when given by familiar faces of those who have also experienced the prison system.

What makes a successful hospice prison program? Research on the Louisiana State Penitentiary Prison Hospice Program, a long-running model of care, reports on what is needed to develop a successful program. Based on field observations and in-depth interviews with hospice staff, inmate volunteers, and corrections officers, these are the five essential elements credited with the long-term operation of this program:

     1.     Patient-centered Care
     2.     Inmate Volunteer Model
     3.     Safety and Security
     4.     Shared Values
     5.     Teamwork

This video trailer of the film “Serving Life” documents an extraordinary hospice program where hardened criminals care for dying fellow inmates. The prison, a former slave plantation the size of Manhattan, is Louisiana's maximum security prison at Angola where the average sentence is more than 90 years.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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