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OMC Hospice helps patients make the most of every moment

OMC Hospice helps patients make the most of every moment

By Kim Wood

WEST PLAINS, Mo – Alvin Johnson was visiting his doctor’s office for the last time. He was weak and nauseous from his treatments and the travel to town for his medical appointments was just getting to be too much. It was then that his physician, Dr. Morgan, asked Mr. Johnson if he and Mrs. Johnson would like to consider Hospice care.

“We don’t know what we would’ve have done without OMC Hospice,” says Geraldine Johnson. “We’re not used to receiving help, but giving. We had no idea these services were available.” Having the facts about hospice can help you and your loved ones make the right decisions regarding end of life care and take advantage of the full range of benefits hospice provides.

OMC Hospice provides for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families in the final stages of an incurable illness. With hospice care, a team of qualified professionals work to provide medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support that meets a patient’s needs and wishes. This qualified team may include a physician, nurse, medical social worker, aide, chaplain and volunteers. Trained personnel play an integral role in the care that is given to both patients and the patients' families as they face end-of-life issues. The hospice team will support the patient and/or family with arranging any additional services needed to meet their needs.

For Alvin Johnson, that meant a hospital bed in the living room where he could remain in the center of the household activity. A household that that Johnsons had lived in and farmed since 1956, and where their children and grandchildren often visited. In fact the Johnsons can tell you at length about each and every one - obviously proud of them and involved in their lives. They in turn, think he could hang the moon. Alvin has always taken the time to show a grandchild one of nature’s wonders, or how a piece of machinery worked.

Alvin’s illness had made that more and more difficult. The time he had to go to doctor appointments, the fatigue, nausea and pain were all impacting his ability to enjoy his family. He did not want to spend the remainder of his illness that way. Deciding to stay home and switch to hospice care gave him back the best quality of life – his pain and nausea were able to be managed, returning his appetite which in turn made him feel stronger and able to enjoy his family again.

The Johnsons of Garfield could be your parents, neighbors, or friends, embodying the hard working, country goodness of the Ozarks. Proud people close to their family and wanting to retain their way of life as best they can. OMC Hospice enabled them in that journey.

“It is an honor to be a part of OMC and provide care for friends, family, and people in the community that I have lived in for 50 years,” says Holly Isom, RN, Director of OMC Home Care. She is the daughter of Billy Joe and Ann Madden of Thayer, MO. “The Johnsons watched me grow up and told many fun stories to the staff during his care about me and my family.”

“The OMC Hospice team is the best. They touch many lives during a very sensitive time providing support and resources to family, friends, and patient,” continues Isom. “I am ‘Proud to be OMC’ and work along with an amazing hospice team to meet every person, every time they need exceptional compassionate care.”

On January 16, Mr. Johnson passed from this life at the age of 90. He will be remembered by his family, friends and caregivers as a loving and patient man that was most content when at home on his farm - where he’d baled a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing (Paul Harvey, 1978).

OMC Hospice is about living, making the most of every moment. It is about providing a patient with dignity and quality of life. It is a model of compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. “We can’t change that the journey will end, but we can change how the journey will feel moving forward,” says Roxann Wurst, Community Representative, Riverways Home Care of OMC.

If you would like to learn more about OMC Hospice, please call 417-256-3133 or email holly.isom@ozarksmedicalcenter.com.

Ozarks Medical Center is a system of care encompassing eight primary care and 16 specialty clinics, along with complete rehabilitation, behavioral healthcare and home care services. While the 114-bed acute care hospital cares for more than 5,400 admissions, the entire medical system has more than 364,000 patient visits annually in South Central Missouri and Northern Arkansas. For more information about OMC, visit www.OzarksMedicalCenter.com

From left to right, standing: Cindy, Home Health Aide; Holly Isom, R.N., Director, Riverways Home Care of OMC; Geraldine (Jerry) Johnson; sitting: Alvin Johnson


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