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Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014


Washington Observer-Reporter: Hospice care volunteers provide compassionate relief to terminally ill patients

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

By Terri T. Johnson

Staff Writer

Donna Molinaro is all too familiar with hospice care for her loved ones.

Her stepmother, Betty Cooper, died in January in the Donnell House in Washington.

“She didn’t have hospice until the last few days. I was ready to get involved, but I didn’t realize it was going to be that fast,” Molinaro said.


Her brother, George Cooper, 63, a resident of the Washington County Health Center, has had hospice care for about a year.
“There is such a misconception with hospice,” Molinaro said. “They can be there for the last few hours, and they’ve been there for him for a year.”

Hospice places the focus on care, not a cure. To be eligible for hospice care, patients must have a life-limiting illness and be seeking no cure, said Lori Bibbee, a certified hospice and palliative nurse. Bibbee addressed a session on the basics of hospice at Canonsburg Hospital earlier this month.

“Our goal is to get to the patient before the very end,” Bibbee said. That allows hospice workers to build a relationship with patients and their families.

“It’s self-determined life closure, and they can revoke if they wish to seek treatments,” Bibbee told the audience.

When the word hospice is mentioned, most think of cancer. That, however, Bibbee said, is a misconception. Anyone with a terminal or life-ending diagnosis is eligible, such as end-stage heart, liver or lung disease, AIDS or neurological disease.

To read more, visit the Observer-Reporter web site.

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