Blog Post Submitted by Patricia “Pat” Lucas, RN, Suncoast Hospice director of hospice houses
It’s a wonderful feeling when I hear our families at our hospice houses say they’re so glad that their loved ones are here, peaceful and comfortable. That’s what we strive for every day. Our Suncoast Hospice Houses Brookside, Woodside and Bayfront are serene, beautiful care centers, where our patients receive around–the–clock comfort care by our compassionate care teams.
Our patients often come to us at the end stages of their diseases and/or after multiple stays in hospitals. We’re experts at hospice and palliative care. We manage their physical pain and symptoms and comfort them emotionally and spiritually as they near the end of life.
We’re extremely honored to provide the care that they desire with the dignity that they deserve. Sometimes we don’t have our patients for long, but no matter how long they’re with us they’re given the best care.
Peace & Comfort at Hospice Houses
We’re all about accommodating our patients and families and improving their quality of life. They feel at home in our warmly–decorated patient rooms and family areas. Families may even stay overnight with their loved ones.
Our Brookside in Palm Harbor and Woodside in Pinellas Park are our largest, free–standing hospice houses. Patients and families may retreat outdoors on spacious grounds for tranquility. Patients and families feel comforted in the unique, intimate setting at Bayfront, our smallest and newest hospice house opened a year ago inside Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Transition for patients who are referred to us from the hospital is comfortable and seamless.
Privileged to Care for Patients & Families
Our care teams work together with our patients and families to meet their needs. Teams understand what the goals are for our patients’ care and work collaboratively to achieve those goals. The teams also support family members and caregivers.
It’s so satisfying to see how our staff and volunteers go to great lengths to make each patient and family feel at ease and special. We have a top chef who understands that food is comfort. Her kitchen teams will prepare whatever our patients want and love to eat. Our volunteers are a tremendous support to our staff, patients and families. They provide so many amazing services, such as music–at–the–bedside, pet therapy, celebrations, Reiki and lots of companionship. We couldn’t do it without them.
The essence of what I always hear from our staff and volunteers is that they feel privileged to be with patients and families at this part of their journeys in life. Our patients and families share their feelings and their lives, and it’s an honor and humbling to care for them. I see that on our staff’s faces, especially when a patient dies. I see how much they care.
Think About Hospice Care Sooner
My experience in hospice care over many years has been rich and I have so much more to do. One of my ongoing goals is to educate the community about coming to us sooner. Many people are accessing health care later, and when they do get that hospice experience, they say they should have done it earlier.
We do make a difference and I strive to help people understand what hospice can do for them. It’s not just about the last couple months of life. It truly is about living.
To learn more about Suncoast Hospice Houses or to schedule a tour, call 727-HOSPICE (467-7423) or visit suncoasthospice.org.
Patricia “Pat” Lucas, RN is the director of hospice houses at Suncoast Hospice based in Clearwater, Florida. Pat is a registered nurse with more than 30 years experience in critical care and nursing supervision. She has been with Suncoast Hospice for more than 13 years, including serving as a program director overseeing patient services on several care teams.