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Brown: Hospice about life, not death

January 24, 2013

Before Steve Brown went to work for Community Hospice in the organization’s marketing department, he thought what many think when they hear the name.
That is that much of what Hospice does has to do with death.
Since going to work at the organization and also seeing what it has done for his own stepfather, Brown sees Hospice in a completely different light.
“It’s really about life, not death,” Brown said to the West Point Rotary Club on Thursday.
A guest of Rev. Eddie Longstreet, who himself does work for Hospice and also delivered an address on Elder-CHOICE-ms, Brown spoke of how his stepfather’s health deteriorated to the point to where his mother could not care for all of his needs all of the time.
“Even the best caregiver in the world needs a break every now and then,” Brown said.
While many of the patients who are referred to Hospice have terminal illnesses, there are individuals who are served who simply cannot thrive on their own.
For those who are terminal, Hospice provides a place that is comforting and educational for the patient and the family.
“It’s about those last six months, three months or even a year of someone’s life,” Brown said. “A lot of people don’t have anybody, and some do have lots of family, but they cannot take care of the patient all of the time.”
Longstreet spoke about Elder-CHOICE-ms for a short time, and he says that Hospice is an organization that is there for the family. It does not make decisions for the family, but it does educate about choices.
“Our goal is to help you and your family find the best services for your needs at that time,” Longstreet said.
Longstreet touched upon a subject that is affecting many veterans across the nation. That is the added benefits that are available to veterans who have served the country and had a service-related injury.
“Many individuals who are veterans do not know that there are additional benefits available to them,” he said.
Longstreet says that many of these benefits are available, but military service men and women should be cautious to make sure all of their records are in order before leaving the military in regards to injuries.
“Word of mouth from a commanding officer does not substantiate a service-related injury,” Longstreet said.
Hospice also helps families of patients who have no living will to understand all of the issues that could be faced in the upcoming months or years.
Brown pointed out that there are additional things Hospice does on its own dime to make sure families are taken care of, including transportation for family members, fixing problems around the person’s home or even sitting with the patient while the family takes a small break.
Those interested in the Elder-CHOICE-ms opportunities may call at 662-823-9845. The Tupelo office for Hospice is 662-566-4011.

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