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Hope changes. It may turn from hoping for a cure, to hoping to feel better or get better, to hoping for closure, to hoping for an easy and peaceful death. Highest service occurs when the staff is able to take that journey with the patient. The patient knows that there is support every step of the way: from the peace and understanding of the progression of their hopes to practical support to keep their fears at bay. Offering hope has to be balanced with the reality of the patient’s situation.
Sometimes people do get better. Sometimes it is permanent; sometimes it is only for a while, and they may end up returning to hospice care. Everyone dies, but they often do not do it in the predicted time frame because of the support and help from caregivers, professional or otherwise. Loneliness and isolation bring death closer.When they are alleviated, there is usually time for things to be done that are important to the client. Providing that opportunity is the highest of service.