Hospice Daffodils – a sign of Hope and Spring

One of many myths about choosing Hospice is that it means giving up hope. The reality is that in Hospice the hope for living each day to the fullest becomes the focus.

“Hospice is about the quality of life that exists in the process of dying,” said Jo Anne Grace, Spiritual Care and Bereavement Coordinator with Northwest Colorado Health’s Hospice program. “When we have time to establish a network of support around a patient and family, we are able to encourage final wishes and pinpoint what that person wants to accomplish before they die. We have had patients who wanted to ride a horse one last time, to go fishing and to take one final ski run down the mountain. Hospice allows the patient to acknowledge death and really plan and deal with it, so that we can work with our community of Hospice staff and volunteers to make those wishes happen.”

While many believe that Hospice is only for the last days of life, patients and families can receive Hospice for 6 months or longer. Research has shown that entering Hospice earlier rather than later in the course of illness has many advantages for the patient, and loved ones.

  • Better pain and symptom control. When Hospice staff have more time to provide care for the patient, they can provide individualized management of pain and other symptoms offering as much relief and comfort as possible.
  • Improved quality of life. Hospice focuses on the wellbeing of the whole patient. There is greater opportunity to focus on what matters most in life, offering more quality time with loved ones.
  • Access to helpful medical supplies and equipment. A hospital bed, commode or wheelchair help caregivers cope with the increasing needs of their loved ones.
  • Fewer hospital and ICU admissions. Patients admitted to Hospice earlier in the course of illness are much less likely to go to a hospital or ICU in a state of crisis. They are more likely to die at home surrounded by loved ones.
  • More days of life. Studies have shown that hospice patients live longer than those with a similar diagnosis who do not receive Hospice.
  • Bereavement support for patient and family. Grief counseling for caregivers and patients allows them to work through emotional issues before death occurs and find peace in their final days. Support for families continues after the death of a loved one.

Northwest Colorado Health has provided comfort-oriented Hospice in the Yampa Valley for nearly 30 years and has recently added new staff to meet the needs of Hospice patients in our community. As a non-profit Hospice provider, Northwest Colorado Health provides Hospice to all residents who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. Although health insurance may cover Hospice, expenses such as medications, equipment and bereavement support often exceed reimbursement. Donations and fundraising events like Hospice Daffodils help cover this gap.

“Our Daffodil fundraiser is such a beautiful reminder of hope and spring, and it always makes me so happy,” said Sally Habermehl, Director of Home Services for Northwest Colorado Health. “I am excited to share this event with the community, and with all our new Hospice staff members that have started working with us this spring.”

Hospice Daffodils can be purchased online now, or in-person on Monday, March 18. Daffodils will be available for purchase on March 18 at various locations throughout the Yampa Valley, including City Market stores in Craig and Steamboat Springs, Hayden Mercantile, Bonfiglio Drug, The Clark Store and Steamboat Ace Hardware. Delivery for online orders of 5 bunches or more will also take place on March 18. To learn more and purchase Hospice Daffodils, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/daffodils or call 970-871-7609.

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