Hospice caregivers say it’s never too early to discuss

Where would you like to spend your final days? It’s not a topic we often discuss. However, those who provide hospice care say we should.

Far fewer of us choose to die in our homes than in a hospital or other facility.

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New York has one of the lowest hospice utilization rates in the country.

High Peaks Hospice, based in Glens Falls, has already served more than 540 families this year. They help to care for people in their own homes who’ve been told they have fewer than six months to live. They provide medical expertise and guidance, as well as support for families who feel overwhelmed or exhausted physically and mentally.

They speculate that more people don’t use hospice because they equate it with giving up. They say it’s the opposite. By staying in the home, surrounded by loved ones or pets, they’re able to get the most out of their remaining days.

Maura Huntz is an RN Case Manager with High Peaks Hospice, who works with families to care for the dying in their own homes.

"What it means to me is allowing people to die the way that they want to, in a pain-free way with comfort and their loved ones around them," said Huntz.

"It’s important that we’re able to give people that ability to enjoy the last part of their lives, to be with their family, to get more out of it," said Nick George, the executive director of High Peaks Hospice.

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Meet a local woman who says she can’t imagine getting through the August death of her husband without the help of hospice, by watching the video of Mark Mulholland’s story.