Living at the End of Life
4:54 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

World Hospice & Palliative Care Day 2013

Saturday, October 12, those involved in the hospice movement celebrate World Hospice Day, a time to talk about comfort and quality of life in a person’s final days. 

Hospice is not a place—it’s not about buildings and bends, but rather attitudes and philosophies.  There are about 120- licensed hospices in Virginia, providing end of life care.

Still though, while serving 36% of the Medicare beneficiaries in the state, that’s lower than the national average of 42%.  And many patients are coming into programs too late to receive many benefits, worry officials from the Virginia Association for Hospices & Palliative Care.

Eric Lindner is a Northern Virginia attorney who became a hospice volunteer—he’s written a book about what he’s learned from patients.  He says for one thing, after sitting with people in their final days to provide respite care for families, his “time related frame of reference” completely changed."When I was working in a law firm I had to fill out time sheets every six minutes.  It wasn't until my time with hospice that I really understood how every single minute mattered and how we could wring so much living out of every single minute. My days just go by in a blur, but when I'm with my patients and their families it's like there's a sealed locked room of serenity and time just goes into another dimension."

Lindner’s new book is called Hospice Voices: Lessons for Living at the End of Life.

Those interested in the topic may be interested in a public screening of the documentary film GRIEFWALKER, and discussion with Stepehen Jenkinson.  It will be held Friday, October 18th  at 7:00 p.m. at The Byrd Theatre in Richmond, VA. 

On Saturday, October 19, Jenkinson will lead a discussion titled "Grief, then Gratitude"  at the The Brook Rd. Campus of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

For more information on the events, and to register and purchase tickets, visit www.virginiahospices.org.