Hospice Care: It’s About Living
If a person has been diagnosed with a terminal or life-limiting illness such as cancer or heart failure, there comes a time when they or their family may seek Hospice care, which is specially designed with a focus on a patient’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The care is often provided in a person’s home or extended care facility.
The state of Illinois has four dedicated Hospice homes, including the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria, which just marked its five-year anniversary.
The OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home is the only one in the state providing the highest level of care to the most symptomatic patients. With its peaceful, park-like grounds and large rooms, there is plenty of space for family members to be with their loved one as much, and as long, as they want.
It’s a place where caregivers are relieved of the burden of having to provide care.
"If you're giving care to your relative it changes everything. It changes your relationship with your mom if you're cleaning her up and feeding her and giving her medications. Here, the family can be family and we can do the care and that's a tremendous gift also," explained Dr. Phillip Olsson, Director of Medical Services for OSF Home Care.
Dr. Phillip Olsson oversees the medical care for the Hospice team. He says people often think Hospice is for those within days of dying, when in reality good hospice care can actually prolong life if sought early.
The Owens Hospice Home staff has celebrated birthdays, baptisms and vow renewals with patients and their families. One even requested a final fishing trip to a nearby pond and the staff made it happen for him.
Since opening, the home has provided end-of-life care to nearly 1,500 patients, ranging in age from 17 to 110 years old.
Dr. Olsson says with patients receiving 24-hour care to help manage pain and maintain as much comfort as possible, it allows them – and their families – to focus on what’s important.
"Studies show that meaningful life work - it may be passing legacy in a family or a blessing to a family member or restoration of a relationship that that can happen until happen till the last day of life. That’s crucially important but you can't do that if you're in tremendous pain. So getting beyond that pain getting that controlled and giving people that gift of better symptom management and time to do that legacy work is huge," added Dr. Olsson.
Richard L. Owens was a Peoria entrepreneur who died peacefully in his home with the help of the OSF Hospice team after battling lung cancer. His wife made a generous donation to fund the new Hospice home in his name.
To mark the five-year anniversary, an interactive donor experience wall was unveiled and blessed. It shares the stories of those who have supported the Owens Hospice Home as well as those who have earned their eternal wings there.
Learn more about the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home.