LAST THINGS: Hospice care attends to body, mind, spirit

Photo Caption: Hospice can’t provide cures, but enables healing to take place in many ways for the patients and their families.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following was part of a special section in the Oct. 25, 2015 issue of The Catholic Post called “Last Things: A Catholic perspective on grief, death and new life.”

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The OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, which sits behind the OSF Center for Health on Route 91 in Peoria, is not about dying.

“It’s really about helping them live whatever time they have the very best way they can,” said Donna Medina, director of hospice services for OSF Home Care Services. “It’s not about the last 24 hours of your life. It might be the last six months or year of your life.”

She said patients are discharged every day because they improve with the kind of care hospice can provide.

“Will they be back? Eventually, yes. But it may be five or six months before that happens,” Medina told The Catholic Post.

Nearly 900 patients have been served since the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home opened in March 2012. The youngest patient has been 17, while the oldest was 104. The longest stay to date is 113 days.

The leadership includes Dr. Phillip Olsson, medical director; Dr. Patricia Deters, assistant medical director; Felicia Schafer, executive director; and Erin Neff, a longtime nurse who serves as manager. Msgr. Rick Oberch became the first full-time chaplain in June.

In addition to the professional staff, the Hospice Home has 65 volunteers and four pet “companions” helping with patient care and comfort.

With 16 beds, the facility is one piece of the hospice care offered by OSF Home Care Services. Medina said there are offices in every region and on any given day there are 400 patients in hospice care, the majority in their homes or nursing homes.

While hospitals focus on physical health, hospice focuses on a person’s spiritual and emotional well-being, too, according to Medina.

“We can’t fix you, but we can make you as whole and as healthy as possible and spiritually whole,” she said. “That’s a huge difference.”

For more information about the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home or hospice services, call (309) 683-8444 or visit osfhomecare.org.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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