Columbus, OH,
16:25 PM

ABC6: Inside Hospice Care

A life well lived is worth celebrating, and a life coming to an end should be handled properly and with dignity. That isn’t always an easy plan to make or follow. For end of life care, many families turn to hospice care. At times that care can happen at a place like OhioHealth Kobacker House. But the majority of hospice care happens at a patient’s own home.

Dr. Charles von Gunten at OhioHealth Kobacker House says hospice can be a fulfilling moment for caregivers.

Saying goodbye can be very hard, but planning for the end of life care that best fits an individual’s wants can be a very healthy thing to do together.

"The most common misperceptions I see is that it's a choice to give up," said Dr. von Gunten.

Dr. von Gunten says hospice is a team approach that mostly happens in the comforts of home.

"Doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, volunteers," he said.

But how those people work together can take some time. Experts in the hospice field say planning early can help create a plan that can be followed and carried out over time.

"Only 10 percent of Americans will die of a sudden illness although many people wish that for themselves. In fact, 90 percent of us will die of a disease of which we know the name and it will extend over years," said Dr. von Gunten.

Some families don’t talk about end of life care until it can be too late, and not always allowing the individual to make the decisions they want. That is why experts like Dr. von Gunten say loved ones should talk about their wants and desires.

"Telling your family what you want if you're not able to speak for yourself, what's important, when do you want comfort to be the major focus,” Dr. von Gunten said.

And in some cases hospice patients can actually improve, and no longer need services.

To read more of the story of a family who used OhioHealth Hospice 3 times, click the ABC6 logo.

And to learn more about OhioHealth Hospice and Kobacker House go here: OhioHealth Hospice.