Hospice At Home Is A Free Option For End-Of-Life Care

For those who are ill and have been given only months to live, in-home hospice care could be a viable, and affordable option.

Hospice is a free service for all Medicare recipients who are approaching the end of their lives.

For 76-year-old Ken Hodges, music tells the story of his life. The singer songwriter even traveled the world as a member of the 60's rock band Spanky and Our Gang.

But now, more than 40 years later, his heart for music is still strong. But the heart pumping in his chest is close to giving out.

While in the hospital, a doctor offered to give him a mechanical heart to keep him alive. But Hodges didn't like the idea of depending on a machine.

"I just said, 'That'll be the day.' And [the doctor] said, 'What do you mean?' 'You aren't going to do that. No way are you going to do that to me,'" said Hodges.

He's been on hospice with the Visiting Nurses Association for about four months now. He gets the medications and the personal care he needs without having to leave his home.

Joel Walker, a chaplain with the VNA, says hospice is designed to serve patients with as much as eight months left to live.

"We're not trying to kill anyone prematurely by any means," Walker said. "We are trying to lengthen and maximize their quality of life."

Katie Hodges, Ken's wife says, "He's comfortable here. So as long as we can do it this way, I'm pleased."

Katie knows he could go anytime, and treasures every minute they are home together.

"It helps us on our journey with this," she said. "Because it is a journey. You just never know when it's going to end."

For more information on hospice care through the Visiting Nurse Association click on the link below.

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