Home Care And End-of-Life Counseling

The Boston Globe has an excellent article up about in-home hospice and palliative care, and the importance of end-of-life counseling.

The article focuses on Plymouth resident Ed Pratt, who has terminal cancer.  After talking things over with his wife and doctor, he is now:

…immersed in the details of dying. As part of his hospice care, he and his wife met last month with a chaplain to work on Ed’s final wishes, a document that will span everything from bedside prayers to memorial service music. Ed receives regular visits from a registered nurse to oversee pain management, a home health aide who provides personal care, a social worker to address the family’s emotional needs, and volunteers who provide companionship (and a cribbage partner) when Catherine, a department manager at Target, is at work.

“She’s a real sweetheart,’’ Ed said of his home health aide. “She’s the reason I’m nice and clean-shaven. I’m gonna be a star . . .’’ he sang in a wobbly croon.

[Pratt is] dying his way – surrounded by family, unburdened by treatment, writing articles for the church bulletin. He’s even rediscovered his sense of humor.

“The cancer, it’s not a funny thing. But if you can crack a joke every once in a while,’’ he said, “you can go through it in a less stressful way.’’

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