Start the Conversation

If you are reading this then you have probably already started the conversation, either with a physician, a spiritual advisor, a counselor or perhaps even with yourself.  The conversation subject is simply this: you know someone in an end-of-life situation.  It may be you.  It may be a loved one.  And you want to know what to do next.

At Hospice of St. Francis we are ready to help.  We understand the stress you are feeling right now.  But we also need to let you know, it’s all right.  It’s all right to ask an expert for help, especially in an area in which you may have little or no experience.  And you need to understand that you are not “giving up” or somehow allowing a loved one to pass away.  That’s not what hospice is about.  There have even been times when a patient “graduates” from hospice and continues on with their life.

Hospice is about creating a situation where the patient is as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.  This is called palliative care.

“Palliative care focuses on helping relieve the patient’s pain, offering psychological support to the patient and family, and providing the patient and family with information they may need to adapt to life with a serious illness and make relevant decisions. This kind of care enables patients with late-stage cancer and other debilitating diseases to live as comfortably as possible during the time they have left and spend meaningful time with their families.” – from Palliative Care and Pain Management for People with Late Stage Lung Cancer, Jessica Becker and Brandel France de Bravo, MPH

As rational people, we are all looking for a cure, an answer, a way to take back control in an uncontrollable situation.  That is how it should be.  But when the caregiver has spent every last measure of emotional and physical effort, losing sleep and eating poorly, searching for an answer that may not come… then it’s time to allow Hospice of St. Francis to try to give you a little relief.  It’s part of our job to take care of the caregivers.  Caregivers often lose their own health while attempting to help others.  We want to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Few people want to talk about death, especially when a loved one is involved.  But this transition is natural and even though each of us will do everything we can to spend more time with our families, we must eventually accept the reality of the situation.

Contact us today to start the conversation.  We promise we will do everything in our power to ease the burden that you are feeling. But we can’t help until you take the first step. When you need to talk, call 321-269-4240 or email

A STUDY published in the New England Journal of Medicine compared advanced lung cancer patients who received standard care and so-called palliative care, which was focused on making them more comfortable.

  • The 49 patients receiving palliative care lived nearly three months longer than the 56 patients getting standard care, the 2010 study found.
  • Just over half of the standard-care patients received aggressive treatment when they were near death—something many patients say they don’t want—while just a third of the palliative care patients were treated aggressively.
  • The standard group spent their last four days of life in a hospice, while the palliative group received hospice care for 11 days.

SOURCE: New England Journal of Medicine