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Caregiving, Hospice

November Is Hospice Month

Every November for the last ten (10) years of my healthcare career, was focused on promoting Hospice Care in Sutter Auburn Faith Hospice service area.  What is Hospice?

Since I became a volunteer for the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), I’m pleased Hospice care is talked about more openly to Huntington’s disease families.  Hospice care supports the patient and the family.

We live in a society that doesn’t like to discuss death, so I like to post information that can help families when confronted with a terminal disease diagnosis.  It’s good to know that Medicare & Medicaid have a hospice benefit.  Most private insurance have one also.  The Outreach Committee that I managed took advantage each November to promote hospice care, educate the community and visit doctors offices.  Patients can be admitted to hospice with a referral from a doctor who believes the patient has six months or less to live. Article:  When-is-it-time-to-contact-hospice

Article:  huntingtons patients would benefit from more hospice involvement researchers argue

To watch a video on Hospice Care, visit:

Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.

I’m a Huntington’s disease advocate and a hospice advocate.  My two (2) sisters-in-law, Marcia and Cindy, who had Huntington’s disease, were on my hospice program and died peacefully with no pain.

You can read about my journey with Huntington’s disease and my hospice work on my author website:

We Can Never Lose HOPE…….


November is National Hospice & Palliative Care Month

The last 10 years of my healthcare career was in Hospice at Sutter VNA and Hospice in Auburn California.  “Hospice is specialized type of care for those facing a life-limiting illness, their families and their caregivers. Hospice is quality of life and living each day as fully as possible.

What is hospice-care

How to have a talk about hospice care

I’m not a clinical person, I faint at the sight of blood, but empathy is my middle name.  As the Hospice Support Services Supervisor, I lead a Community Outreach Committee, recruited and trained hospice volunteers that I placed in a family’s home, developed & implemented a marketing plan each year, supervised the CBAG program (Children’s Bereavement Art Group) and the local hospice thrift store that I started from ground up.

Cicely Saunders, founder of Hospice.

Every November was an exciting time for the Outreach Committee because it afforded us the opportunity to reach out to doctors and the community to help them understand the benefits of hospice care.

About Dame Cicely Saunders 

We Can Never Lose HOPE…..

100% of the profits from Watching Their Dance are being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, (HDSA).  

The book is available on Therese’s author website & many book websites like Amazon


Family, Hospice

Hospice Care for End Stage Huntington’s Disease Patients

I haven’t written about Hospice care for awhile, so I thought I’d post this article on the benefits of palliative and hospice care, at the end of life, which applies to everyone, because none of us get out of this alive.

The last 10 years of my career in healthcare was in hospice care and it was the most fulfilling work I have ever done in my life.  It was privilege to be allowed into community folks homes to support the patient and family as they prepare for the inevitable loss of their loved one. For info on Hospice care, go to: 

If you have a loved one challenged with a chronic disease, talk to their doctor about hospice care before there is a medical crisis.  Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances also cover it.

My two sisters-in-law, Marcia & Cindy, we’re patients on the hospice program that employed me.


We Can Never Lose Hope……..


November is National Hospice Month

In 1991, I began working at the local hospital in our town of Auburn California.  I had just received a Masters in Healthcare Administration which allowed me to change careers, I had been an industrial purchasing agent, and enter the healthcare industry . 

For the last ten years of my career in healthcare, I was privileged to work in hospice; the VNA & Hospice department of the hospital, and it was the most gratifying work I’ve every done; helping community folks when their loved ones were dying.  

So, what is hospice care? 

“Hospice is specialized type of care for those facing a life-limiting illness, their families and their caregivers.”  

Since Marcia and Cindy, my two sisters-in-law who had Huntington’s disease, lived in an Auburn residential care facility for the elderly, they were admitted to my hospice program when Dr. Gerry Lee, their primary physician, felt they were end stage.  

Last June, when I attended HDSA National Convention, there were two sessions on “end of life care”.  I’m so glad the HD professionals are addressing the options available with the HD community.  

Therese’s first book is a memoir/nonfiction, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, is available on her author website   & on Amazon, B&N, & in Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBooks file.

We can never lose HOPE…….Therese  

100% of the profits from Therese’s book is being donated to HDSA.
Caregiving, Hospice

Hospice Care and Huntington’s Disease

The 2nd organization close to my heart is the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) . Of course, the Huntington’s Disease Society of America is #1.

Since I was a healthcare professional for 20 years, 10 years in hospice care, I want to speak about the service hospice can provide to a family reeling from the anticipatory loss of a loved one. The majority of Americans say they would prefer to be cared for and die at home and yet only 38% of us receive hospice care.  Supporting a persons wish to die at home is one of the greatest gifts a family17131086854_9560cb9d03_z can give to their loved one.  Hospice is an interdisciplinary team approach that supports the family and the patient.  Hospice strives to keep the patient free of pain, have the highest quality to his/her life, teaches the caregivers how to  to care for a bedbound, terminally ill person, offers counseling to the patient and/or the family members, bestows a chaplain if requested and respite for a few hours a week.



Medi-Cal  (California State Funded for low income)

AND most private insurances have a hospice benefit so there is usually no out of pocket costs to families. Most hospice programs are non-for-profit, but there are some for profit hospice programs.  Just be aware, there may be costs associated with a for profit hospice.

My two sister-in-laws, Marcia and Cindy Marin, were both under the care of hospice, at different times; the hospice organization I was employed by. My best word of advice to anyone caring for a loved one with HD, and they’ve been struggling for many years and your family feels he/she is declining, is to call a hospice program near you, and ask to have him/her evaluated for hospice care.  You can never be admitted to hospice too early.  Hospice can be a huge support to the caregivers.

To locate a hospice program near you in California please see:   or

Have a good day!   Therese


Being Mortal-Medicine and What Matters in the End


I have just started reading this book and I’m so glad it is a best seller.  Hopefully, those that read it, will think ahead of time about end-of-life issues and discuss them with family and friends.  He speaks about palliative care and hospice care, both so important for folks to know about.

Thank you Atul Gawande, M.D. for speaking about what most folks are afraid to talk about.   

Have a good day!    Therese