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Making the End-of-Life as Meaningful and Precious as the Beginning

Making the End-of-Life as Meaningful and Precious as the Beginning

Throughout life, we prepare for momentous events. Births, graduations and weddings are a few examples.

But, when it comes to planning for death, many people put off important decisions until it’s too late.

“Planning for the end-of-life should be treated with as much importance as the beginning of life,” notes Dexter Fields, Director of North Oaks Hospice, a palliative care provider that addresses the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of the dying process for those with a life-limiting illness. “For the terminally ill, it can be as meaningful and precious as the start with the proper support, information and medical care.”

This philosophy is what has earned North Oaks Hospice a place in the top 1% of providers in the nation for patient and family satisfaction for nearly 5 consecutive years, according to Press Ganey independent surveys. It’s also why North Oaks Hospice offers complimentary consultations with no obligation to individuals who are considering palliative care.

The role of the North Oaks Hospice team is to teach, guide, direct and support the patient and family so that they can make the final decisions and live life as fully as possible until the end.

“When curative treatments are no longer effective, many patients want to avoid aggressive interventions,” explains Deborah, a Social Worker with North Oaks Hospice. “They want their last months, weeks and days to be lived pain-free and spent with family and close friends at home in their familiar surroundings.”

Having earlier discussions about end-of-life care with physicians and loved ones is vital to ensuring terminally ill patients can achieve end-of-life goals. Fields recommends asking your health care provider the following essential questions:

  1. What treatments are available for my illness?
  2. What are the chances that the treatment will be effective/successful?
  3. Are there risks? Negative effects?
  4. Will it prolong my life?
  5. How will the treatment affect my other medical conditions and my quality of life?
  6. If this treatment doesn’t work, what is our next step?

Use a binder to keep all important health information together. It should include:

  • health care provider and pharmacy contact information
  • prescription and over-the-counter medication information
  • advance directives
  • medical history
  • previous/current treatments.

For more information on our hospice program, click North Oaks Hospice or call (985) 230-7620 to schedule a consultation with no obligation.