Losing a loved one can be some the hardest moments in our lives. But when you feel most alone, one organization in the Ohio Valley is here to help you re-define hope.
Valley Hospice is a non-profit organization that spans seven counties in the Ohio Valley. For decades they have helped families in their most difficult days.
Andrea Stoll, Vice President of Access and Clinical Care for Valley Hospice, says that so many people come to utilize Valley Hospice Care they say they wish they would've known about it sooner.
"A lot of people think that coming to hospice means they have to give up hope, we redefine hope and we ask them what is most important to them at their stage in their illness," said Stoll.
Valley Hospices go beyond in home nursing care. They have two care centers, one in Steubenville and Liza's Place in Wheeling.
Mike Howard of Wheeling lost his wife Amy to cancer and his wife actually chose to go to Liza's Place herself. Amy had visited a friend who was there and told her family if it ever came down to it, that's where she wanted to be.
"The folks at Liza's Place really make you feel at home," said Howard. "They want the time there to be with family, they almost want to be ghost-like."
There are some misconceptions when it comes to hospice care according to Stoll. She says that a lot of people think they care strictly for cancer patients but actually only 40 percent of their patients have cancer, the other 60 have end stage illnesses.
"In our area with the mills and the type of work in mines that people have done we have many people suffering from end stage lung and end stage heart disease," said Stoll.
Another myth is that you it's meant for people with only days to live. Their end of life care is for anyone that has been given months to live.
Valley Hospice not only cares for the patients in their final days but they also look out for their families. Following them months after their loved ones have passed.
"They've called us on a regular basis, they're always there, ready to help," said Howard.
Stoll said that families say they're mailings have come out just at the right time, when they were struggling it really helped them get through.
Stoll also said that a lot of people are hesitant to make the initial call but that is best to make it early, so you can be prepared.
"That's why we encourage people to learn about the services when they are not in a crisis situation, when they're not in the hospital but when they need the extra support," said Stoll.
Valley Hospice offers a program called "Whispered Wishes" for their patients as well where they grant patients end of life wishes. It has been anything from reuniting a grandmother with her granddaughter, helping someone with an electric bill and even helped a woman fly for the first time.
They also offer a program called "A Hero's Salute" for veteran care. Their staff has been educated on the veterans' unique physical, psychological and spiritual care needs at their end of life.
Valley Hospice is a non-profit organization that will take care of anyone regardless of their inability to pay. They have done up to $1.3 Million in unfunded care.
They organization is all about adding quality to someone's life going through end-stage illnesses.
"Death is a hard thing to face, but I would strongly urge people to call and look into it, so at least you can understand how it works. Get to know the people that are going to have care for your loved one, that could be their final care," said Howard.
For more information you can call them at: (877) HOSPICE or CLICK HERE to go to their website.