For Patients and Famillies
At Mary Washington Healthcare Hospice Services we provide care options
for the whole family. We provide support to patients and family members
allowing everyone to be involved at the level where they feel comfortable.
This empowers family members and caregivers as they help and can reduce
feelings of helplessness.
How do we know Hospice Services are needed?
- When family needs professional guidance and support.
- When family becomes overwhelmed by providing daily care for their loved one.
- When treatments cause further discomfort and pain rather than help.
- When the patient wishes to improve quality of life more than cure their disease.
- When symptoms become increasingly tough to manage.
When the followiing symptoms appear:
- Severe fatigue
- Sustained weight loss
- Trouble with daily personal care
- Struggled breathing or swallowing
- Continual fluid build-up
How do we start the conversation about Hospice Services?
Most hospice patients have less than 6 months to live and these conversations
can be very emotional and difficult. When a patient or family beiieves
it may be time to consult Hospice Services, the first step is to talk
with the patient’s physician, The physician needs to refer the patient
to Mary Washington Hospice Services.
Family Video Stories
Bob’s Story: Massage Therapy and Support Help Improve Quality of Life
Mary Washington Healthcare Hospice Services helped Karen, 64, near the
end of her battle with cancer. Through the Expressive Therapy program,
a masseuse came to Karen’s home to provide massage therapy and relieve
her muscle pain. The experience with Mary Washington Healthcare Hospice
Services helped Karen have a greater quality of life until the end. Karen’s
husband, Bob continues to receive support by regularly attending our grief
Karin’s Story: Support for Pediatric Cancer Patient and His Family:
As pediatric cancer patient Owen began the final phase of his life in the
hospital, Mary Washington Healthcare Hospice Services caregivers supported
him and his family. By helping the entire family meet both physical and
emotional needs, Mary Washington Hospice caregiver’s helped Owen
reach the end of his life with dignity
Sandra’s Story: Positive Experience Inspires Family Member to Become
a Hospice Volunteer
Mary Washington Healthcare’s Hospice Services team took care of Sandra’s
Dad and showed her that hospice services can enrich experiences shared
by parent and child during the end of life. The positive journey inspired
Sandra to honor her father’s life by becoming a volunteer with the
Mary Washington Hospice bereavement program.
Advance Directives and Living Wills
The Virginia Health Care Decisions Act allows you to make two types of
decisions about your end-of life healthcare in an Advance Directive.
First Type of Decision: If you are ever diagnosed with a terminal condition and are incapable
of making your own decisions, you have the right to create a living will
in advance. This is essentially a document that communicates whether or
not you want life-prolonging procedures.
Second Type of Decision: If you can’t make treatment decisions due to a medical condition,
you can name someone in advance to make those decisions for you. This
is often referred to as a healthcare proxy, a medical power of attorney,
or a durable power of attorney.. Whoever is named in this second type
of decision is given power to make decisions you would have made in the
same situation if you were able. In some cases, you can put parameters
around the decisions that the person named is allowed to make. The law
prohibits the person you choose from making decisions that would contradict
your religious convictions, basic values, and spoken preferences. You
may also choose a person to ensure that your organs or body are donated
after your death.
Please remember to bring your or your loved one's advance directive
to the hospital.
The Patient Self-Determination Act was passed by Congress in 1990. Under
this act, healthcare institutions are required to inform their patients
and their communities about their rights to make decisions concerning
their medical care. Accepting care, refusing care, and making advance
directives about their care are included under these rights.