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Hospice of Hope/Hospice of Texarkana Continues To Serve Our Area

By ., 05/31/22 12:57 AM

Hospice of Hope/Hospice of Texarkana was established in 1985 by the Junior League of Texarkana.  It was the first hospice in the region.  Not only has it served our area for almost 40 years, in 2016 they opened the area’s only freestanding Hospice Inpatient Care Center.  They have been a United Way Agency in Hempstead County for 21 years and have submitted a grant funding request in hopes to continue that relationship into 2023.

Hospice serves people when treating an illness is no longer feasible, resulting in the care plan moving toward symptom management.  Director Cindy Marsh says they try to make sure the “individual is as comfortable and has as much quality of life as possible so they can say good-bye to their loved ones, take care of last-minute business, and enjoy the time they have left”.  Marsh notes that Medicare defines qualifying for hospice care as a person having a six-months or less life expectancy.  She mentioned that sometimes when such treatments as chemotherapy or radiation are discontinued the person can “perk up and have much more vitality about them, enabling them to visit family one more time, maybe go fishing, or other things like that… making life worth living.”

Hospice of Hope/Hospice of Texarkana has a unique Inpatient Care Center in Texarkana. Marsh says the Care Center allows for situations when ‘if symptoms cannot be managed in the home, then we bring the patient into our Inpatient Care Center and are able to address those symptoms more aggressively.”  Marsh further added, “We have physicians who “round” every day.  Dr. Brent Bennett does most of those rounds for us and in addition to the symptom management, we also provide five days of respite care for a caregiver break at the Care Center.  Sometimes an individual may not be willing to enter a nursing home for a respite break but when they see how lovely and homelike our Inpatient Care Center is, that’s much more appealing to them…and we do try to spoil them!”  Marsh stressed the importance of breaks for caregivers.  She noted data shows the harsh impact caregiving has on individuals, especially older caregivers, and how easily it can undermine their health.  She has seen caregivers that have passed away before the patient because they have given their all.  Marsh says, “Whenever you have a life-limiting illness, you need to reach out to Hospice of Hope/Hospice of Texarkana and let us evaluate the situation and explain how we can help.”

Marsh explains that Hospice of Hope/ Hospice of Texarkana is able to alleviate five different kinds of pain, including physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial pain.  She elaborated by saying “Once we’re involved, you see a lot of your co-pays disappear because we are paying for medical equipment and supplies such as ostomy products and pull-ups. We are bringing out the medications to you, you are not having to go get them and you are not having to pay all or part of those drugs to keep the patient symptom free and comfortable”.

Marsh says if you have questions, you can call 903-794-4263.  She noted the first call will be taken by an intake nurse who will schedule a registered nurse to come evaluate you or your loved one’s situation.  You can also visit HospiceofTexarkana.org online for more information.

Leigh Davis and Cindy March of Hospice of Hope/Hospice of Texarkana