20th Annual Rose Event Benefits Hospice Clients

In searching for an appropriate quote for starting this article about today’s 20th Annual Rose Event benefitting Bonner General Health Community Hospice, I came across this one by Eleanor Roosevelt:

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”

It made me laugh out loud. Although apropos of nothing. I’m hoping it will put at least a smile on your face and that smile may turn into a feeling of gratitude and create a desire in you to go to Bonner General Health to pick up a dozen roses for your $20 donation.

If you’ve already made your donation, your flowers are at the hospital, 520 N. Third Avenue, and ready for you to pick up between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. today. If you haven’t made your contribution yet but would still like to participate, go to the Information Desk and they will be happy to assist you.

“All the proceeds provide direct client support to families in our community,” the promotional flier states and if you aren’t familiar with the great work hospice provides, let me fill you in.

First off, we all know the statistic. 100 percent of us will die. One can assume that all of us would prefer to die in our sleep when we’re really old. Right? Well, good luck with that. Unfortunately at some point we’ll hear the dreadful words like cancer, aggressive, no known cure, heart failure, degenerative, stroke, dementia, inoperable and among others, terminal.

It’s our culture to hang on to any thin thread of hope for a cure. And, miracles do happen. But, at the end of the day, we’re all going to die and we’ll want to do so without pain, with dignity and a support system for those we leave behind. That’s where hospice comes in. That’s what hospice does.

“Hospice focuses on caring, not curing,” states the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Hospice services are available to patients with any terminal illness or of any age, religion, or race.”

They say that in most cases, services are provided at the patient’s home, but if home is an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, hospice can provide services there as well. Often a family member serves as the primary caregiver and, when appropriate, will help make decisions.

“Members of the hospice staff make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care or other services. The hospice team develops a care plan that meets each patient’s individual needs for pain management and symptom control,” NHPCO says.

The interdisciplinary hospice team (physicians, registered nurses, social workers, chaplains, volunteers) assists the patient and family members with the emotional, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of dying.

“The team provides medication and medical supplies and equipment, instructs the family on how to care for the patient, makes short-term inpatient care available when pain and other symptoms become too difficult to manage and delivers special services like speech and physical therapy when needed,” NHPCO says.

Medicare covers all costs of hospice and for those who don’t qualify; there are benefits from Medicaid or private insurers. The 20th Annual Rose Event will help defray the costs that aren’t covered by benefit programs.

I can’t stress enough how fortunate we are to have BGH Community Hospice in our small rural community and I, for one, appreciate all they do. So much so that I’m putting my check in the mail right now even though I have to forego the flowers because I’m too lazy to drive to town today. Donations can be mailed to BGH Community Hospice, 510 N. Third Avenue, Sandpoint, ID 83864.

And finally an anonymous quote: “Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.” Let’s keep hospice blooming, shall we? If you need more information about our local, non-profit hospice please call Lissa DeFreitas at 208-265-1185.

Kathy Hubbard is a member of Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Committee. She can be reached at 208-264-4029 or kathyleehubbard@yahoo.com.