Through blogs and comments, patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

1st Person: Hospice, My Husband and Me


As Jerome Rafferty, diagnosed with a progressive form of dementia and an incurable, antibiotic-resistant infection, became more ill, his wife, Renata Rafferty, used hospice services at home initially to assist her in caring for him.

Once hospice got involved and came to us at home, it was anything we needed. Hospice is not the place where you go to die, but the place you go to celebrate and finish your life, in an environment where that is the sole and only focus.

When we signed on to hospice, the very first visit they brought a booklet about what to expect when someone is dying relative to appetite, demeanor, physical actions and behaviors. When those things started happening, I was very comfortable rather than afraid.

Eventually, Renata realized that having access to the medical equipment and round-the-clock care of a stand-alone hospice facility would help Jerome be more comfortable ' and relieve some of her emotional and physical burden, too. Once she made the choice to transfer Jerome to the hospice facility, she could finally relax in the home-like atmosphere there.

It gave me some relief. From a caregiver's standpoint, it meant that I could leave the room to go to the bathroom or leave to make a phone call to a family member and know that he was cared for.

Five days later, Jerome died in the hospice facility, in October 2009.


More Blog Posts by First Person

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1st Person posts spotlight a patient’s or caregiver’s health care experience.

Tags for this article:
End-of-Life Planning   Plan for your End of Life Care   Aging Well   First Person  

Comments on this post
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Hospice Information Booklet | says
October 14, 2011 at 4:23 AM

[...] Prepared PatientCeltic Healthcare is pleased to announce the launch of our new website | Celtic HealthcareHospice Information Booklet | telecommunicationsnew [...]

Understanding Your Hospice And Palliative Care Options - Better Health says
December 27, 2011 at 11:57 AM

[...] Renata Rafferty, a consultant and author, used hospice services at home initially to assist her in caring for her husband, Jerome, diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia. â??Once hospice got involved and came to us at home, it was anything we needed,â?? she recalls. She says that one of the major benefits of hospice was the education provided about what to expect before Jeromeâ??s death. [...]

Margaret Mae Rafferty says
June 7, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Thank-You for taking care of my Father. Be Blessed.