Hospice workers explain end-of-life care

By Kelsey Gerhardt kgerhardt@civitasmedia.com

March 13, 2014

The Bell County Chamber of Commerce held the monthly Lunch and Learn series at the Chinatown Cafe in the Middlesboro Mall on Thursday.

Guest speakers were Kimberly Boggs and Vicki Prince of Hospice of the Bluegrass in Harlan.

Hospice of the Bluegrass assists with end-of-life care for patients that have six months or less to live. Terminally ill people who meet requirements are able to utilize the hospice for medical assistance during this period of their lives.

Prince said there is a community-wide increase in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients which means these patients are becoming more common in the hospice system as well.

The hospice offers a chaplain for their patients who is well versed in all religions, which Prince says often becomes a major part of the end of someone’s life.

“You want to have a good quality of life and be treated with dignity, compassion and respect during this time of your life and that’s what we try to do here,” said Prince.

Hospice of the Bluegrass also offers bereavement services for family members of a hospice patient which includes counseling and support groups for up to a year after the patient has passed away.

Hospitals, community members or family members of a sick person in need can contact Hospice of the Bluegrass to enlist in their care.

Hospice of the Bluegrass is always looking for volunteers to be companions for patients and to assist with medical or health related needs. The hospice is looking for donations of quilts, walker and wheelchair caddies, and catheter covers.

For more information about Hospice of the Bluegrass contact the Harlan office at 606-573-6111 or 800-371-6112. The Harlan office serves Bell and Harlan counties.

Kelsey Gerhardt may be reached at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.