Don’t let Hospice die

By Robin Loving Rowland

Before there was hospice care—which is care for the terminally ill—I and many others watched our loved ones shuttled from hospitals to home to the emergency room and back again because no one wanted the patient to die in their facility, but the patient couldn’t cope at home. I was not alone in spending all of the money we had—and then some. In the end, the patient passed on, and there was debt to pay off in our grief.

Hospice has changed all of that. Now, when it is clear that a patient is in his or her final transition, caregivers can be summoned to ensure that there is dignity in the process for all concerned, be they patient, family or friends. Hospice San Miguel has been offering free medical, social, spiritual and grief support for seven years, but it is on the verge of demise now because it has more patients than resources.

We must not let Hospice San Miguel die. Otherwise, who will be there for us when it is our time? I’m sure we all want what has been termed a good death, which is to say to be able to be afforded dignity through access to information and expertise, spiritual and emotional support for us, our families and our friends.

“Hospice is like a poem,” says its new bilingual president, Dr. Pepe Valencia, a gerontologist who specializes in end-of-life care. After his medical training in Guadalajara, he was trained in hospice and palliative care—pain management—in San Diego, California. He was later trained in end-of-life care. He is a member of the Alzheimer Federation of America, among other professional credentials.

What he refers to is that life is rhythmic, arouses strong emotions in its beauty and search for meaning and that, through a realization of these aspects, we can be transported to places in time that allow us to fully embrace each of our life phases. He speaks of a woman who asked that he hold her hand on her deathbed. “This is the most beautiful moment of my life. Thank you,” she said as she slipped beyond this life’s comprehension.

“That was a gift she gave me,” remembers Dr. Valencia. “I believe in and follow a holistic approach to terminal illness and death. Death is not an individual matter, but encompasses the family and friends of the patient. Holism involves the family, and where family isn’t present, close friends. Holism also helps the patient integrate the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the self in the living and dying process,” he continues.

Hospice is at peril due to a lack of resources. There is not a moment to lose. Please give now and generously to have it be all that we will need it to be when our time comes. Otherwise, who will be there for us? Donations are tax deductible in Mexico and the US. For more information, contact Dr. Valencia at 044-415-111-6698 and Don’t let Hospice San Miguel die!


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