The House That Built Me

Whenever I hear Miranda Lambert sing, “The House That Built Me” I can’t help but think about the house that built ME. It is a small-ish 3 bedroom home in southern Indiana that my grandparents have lived in since they were married. Growing up we were always there with my cousins celebrating holidays and birthdays. There are many, many happy memories in the house that built me. I have had their address memorized forever because it has never changed. I know how fortunate I am to be able to enjoy the company of my parents and grandparents as they grow older.  (Just don’t tell my parents I said they’re getting older!) The average life span in the United States is inching ever closer to eighty years, and there are nearly 100,000 people who are over 100 years old.

When I started working at Covenant Hospice, one of the most important things I learned is that hospice services are provided wherever the patient calls home. It could be the patient’s own home, the home of a relative, a nursing home or assisted living facility or anywhere else they call home. It could be the house that built them or the house that built their grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Research continues to show us that patients want to remain in their own homes as long as possible and I think having the ability to provide hospice care to patients in their preferred setting is a gift and a true comfort to them and their families.

We also have additional resources such as our Partners in Care program and inpatient care centers that give us the ability to continue caring for patients even if they have to change their home setting to receive more specialized care. Our team of doctors, nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers know how scary this can be for the patient and are committed to working with them and their family to make the transition if there comes a time when it is needed.

After seeing the difference hospice care makes at the end of life, I think it will be ok if my grandparents have to leave the house that built me someday. I really hope they don’t. But most importantly, I hope everyone gets the opportunity to experience the love and comfort of hospice care – no matter where it’s at.

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