Life’s final moments should be full of peace, comfort and joy. When you have a loved one who is in need of hospice care, it can be hard to watch them suffer. We only want the best for them, but it may be emotionally or physically impossible to provide the care they need ourselves. In fact, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, approximately 1.6 million patients received services from hospice in 2014. With this many people in need, high quality hospice care is more important than ever before. In the North Dallas Corridor, there are many options available. This year, Faith Presbyterian Hospice launched the $43 million dollar T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center, the first freestanding inpatient hospice care center in Dallas.
“This state-of-the-art center augments our in-home hospice services by providing general inpatient hospice care to patients who are suffering a crisis or who are experiencing symptoms that are uncontrolled and need intense inpatient care,” said John Mezo, executive director of Faith Presbyterian Hospice. “In addition to general inpatient hospice care, we provide residential hospice care for those patients who choose to live at the hospice and palliative care center. The addition of the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center to Faith Presbyterian Hospice allows us to provide a full continuum of care for the patient at the end of life.”
Although many families choose to have in-home hospice care, sometimes it can give families and patients more peace of mind to stay in a homey center, where patients will have around-the-clock care. The T. Boone Pickens Center is designed to be a place of comfort, where physical, emotional and spiritual needs are cared for. It is located on a 9-acre property and has 36 rooms, each facing the lake, with balconies and accommodations for overnight guests. The Center also has a spiritual care center and chapel, a child and family bereavement center, and an outdoor reflection center and garden. In addition, expertly trained clinicians are available to provide 24 hours of care to patients, to relieve the burden from family members.
Faith Presbyterian Hospice also provides many hospice care services, in addition to the T. Boone Pickens Center. These services include in-home nursing care, assistance with activities of daily living, spiritual support, volunteer services, and provision of all medicines, medical supplies and medical equipment related to the terminal illness. The difference with Faith Presbyterian Hospice is that they personalize care according to each individual’s particular condition, and they provide unique therapies and programs to help relax patients and give them comfort in their final days.
“We are in the comfort business, so outside of the medical palliation of symptoms the patient is experiencing, it’s important to holistically address the patient’s and families’ symptoms through advanced psychological, spiritual and ancillary services,” explained Mezo. “At Faith Presbyterian Hospice, in addition to chaplains and medical social workers, we offer unique programs to assist patients and families through this difficult time.”
One of these programs is called Faithful Wishes that fulfills special requests with transformational and inspirational experiences (for example, a retired pilot who wants to fly one last time). Another is called Faithful Presence, where staff records the memories and stories of patients to make sure nothing is left unsaid, and then they present the recordings to the family members. Faithful Paws Animal Assisted Therapy is a pet therapy program that provides a soothing presence and therapeutic benefits of being around animals. Also, Faithful Hands is a program that creates a side-by-side paper print or a plaster cast sculpture that physically preserves the gesture of holding hands. This allows loved ones to keep a lasting memory of holding hands. In addition, Life Review is a program that lets patients create and share videos and recordings of life stories, special memories and messages for their loved ones. Finally, the care team can provide licensed, certified music therapy to provide peace and joy; certified massage therapy to relax and soothe; and Japanese Reiki therapy to reduce stress.
Other programs are specifically designed for grieving family members. For example, Child and Family Bereavement incorporates play therapy and music to support children who are grieving. Child life specialists, social workers and bereavement coordinators work together to offer family support and help children cope with the loss of a loved one. Camp Faith is another program, offered during the months of August and December, that allows children, grandchildren and their surviving parents and grandparents a place to express their grief and develop creative ways to heal.
It’s never fun or easy to think about a beloved family member living his or her last days on Earth. But if you ever are in that awful situation, it can give you some peace knowing that they will be well taken care of during this painful time. By having your loved ones stay at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center, all you have to worry about is spending time with them—everything else is taken care of!