Over 20 years ago I was asked to serve as a community representative on an advisory committee to discern if Kosciusko County could continue to support hospice, a fairly new program for this area. Its mission would be to provide end of life care with comfort and compassion, providing for enhanced quality of life during that difficult time.
Kosciusko Home Care and Hospice has been an integral part of our county for 38 years. I served on their board and came to know the staff who served their patients with such dedication 24/7 — they are true servants.
At that time, I had no idea what an important role hospice would play in my life. In 1992, my first husband, Bill Reneker, lost his life to cancer. Last December Bill Burd, my second husband, also lost his life.
Unfortunately, although I knew better, we delayed and called hospice in much later than we should have. From the minute they entered our lives, there was a sense of relief. There was freedom from pain, a renewed sense that things were under control and we “could do this”….get through the coming days, weeks or months. What a blessing.
The devoted nurses and aides gave both of my husbands compassionate and skilled care and the social worker gave me the confidence that I could care for them at home until the end.
Because these nurses are local they were able to respond quickly day or night.
I was startled recently to discover there are hospice organizations from outside of Kosciusko County now advertising in our area. Many folks just assume that there is only one hospice and think they are signing up for Kosciusko Home Care & Hospice.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need hospice services, I would urge you to be sure you are being given a choice.
I am so thankful that the advisory panel saw and then filled the need for Kosciusko Home Care and Hospice.
Judy Reneker Burd