03/28/12 Heartland Hospice Care Nurse Liaison Lynn Hawkins, R.N. spoke at Miller’s Senior Living Community Saturday afternoon March 24th.  Hawkins’s topic Hospice 101: dispelling the Myths proved to be educational and enlightening to those in attendance.  Hawkins stated that in this area many believe hospice is the “place you go when you are ready to die”.  Nationally however, hospice is known as the place to go to talk about “the white elephant in the room”.

Instead of having to seek out the medical care; hospice can bring nurses, the medical care, the spiritual care, closer to the patient.  Statistics show that nationally a patient entering hospice care averages approximately 150 days in that care.  In this area the average is 15 days.  This statistic amazes Hawkins and the way to overcome that statistic is through education.

In the 80’s a group of people got together and discussed with doctors, pharmacists, social workers, and clergy about creating a system where it is possible to acknowledge not every illness can be cured but a terminally ill patient’s life can be made manageable and better.  Hospice care can set a person up for success in the areas of providing the proper medical equipment needed to make everyday living the best possible.  And, hospice will pay for it.  Hawkins went on to explain how this happens and to answer questions presented by the audience.

She dispelled myths involving information about hospital visits and medical treatment allowed during hospice care, the cost of hospice care, the length of hospice care, etc.    The group had so many questions that Hawkins agreed to return in the near future to speak about advanced directives.  She will title her program Hospice:  Part II.

Photo:  Lynn Hawkins of Heartland Hospice serves refreshments to Mary Probst and Lucille Heydt before her program.