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In Your Home

Many people feel that the most natural and comfortable place to be during life's final journey is among family and friends at home. Nearly 90 percent of hospice care is provided in our patients ’ homes. The basis of our care is the individualized Plan of Care, which we develop together with you and your loved ones. To help you stay at home, we educate your family to provide the best care for you, and we are your "safety net" when you need us – available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in addition to scheduled routine visits.

A Typical Experience – The Pegram Family

Ben Pegram had been diagnosed with lung disease for several years now. When the treatment for his disease became ineffective, Ben's physician contacted Hospice of Hamilton and arranged a meeting with Ben, his family, and a Hospice nurse.

Based on the current rate of his disease, Ben was expected to live at least another 4 to 6 months, and he was still enjoying a considerable amount of independence and quality of life. A plan of care was established for Ben that included hospice services and a team of professionals dedicated to his comfort. Hospice of Hamilton immediately began providing for all medications, equipment and services related to his terminal illness.

Ben’s family continued to serve as his primary caregivers. A Hospice nurse came to the house for 1 to 2 hours on regularly scheduled visits once a week. She also served as the eyes and ears of the physician – continually monitoring the situation and symptoms as they progressed – and helped to modify the plan of care as needed. A home health aide provided cheerful assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing and meal preparations. A physician, too, visited occasionally to check up on Ben and make adjustments to his plan of care that would improve his comfort and quality of life.

A Hospice of Hamilton social worker helped Ben and his family prepare a living will and gain access to additional resources such as a Lifeline® Medical Alert service, which gave the family more freedom and peace of mind. From time to time, the family had additional questions, and help was just a phone call away. A Hospice nurse was always available 24/7 to answer questions and provide additional help when needed.

A Hospice chaplain helped Ben reconnect to his spiritual base, providing deep spiritual and emotional support during their visits together. Ben felt that his friendship with the chaplain was always a calming presence that gave him peace of mind and spirit.

Throughout the term of Ben’s illness, volunteers from Hospice of Hamilton visited to provide companionship, art therapy, music therapy, massage and other holistic services. Ben always looked forward to the additional visits. It also gave Ben’s family a much needed break to take care of their own needs and refresh their own strength.

As the end of life drew near, the Hospice team began monitoring Ben’s symptoms more closely and quickly intervened to make frequent changes to his medication dosage. The team had become close to Ben and his family over the past several months and began preparing them for what to expect during the final stages of death. The family tried to reassure Ben that it was all right to let go whenever he was ready.

Ben passed away peacefully in his own home on his own terms and surrounded by the reassuring presence of his loved ones close by. A Hospice nurse was also there to comfort the family and make arrangements for the transfer to the funeral home.

The months that followed Ben’s death were difficult at times for his loved ones.
They took great comfort in knowing that Ben’s quality of life, dignity and happiness were maintained until the end of his life. Occasionally, they received a Logocall from bereavement counselors at Hospice of Hamilton, who offered their support and encouragement through the grieving process. For Ben’s family, the calls were a welcome, friendly voice from a team of caring people that would forever hold a dear place in their hearts.