AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – There are many ins and outs when it comes to hospice care, and it can differ on a case-by-case basis. 

“There’s people that go in for about a year and some change,” said Devon Labrie the Community Liaison for Helping Hands Hospice in Augusta. “And then we realize they’ve graduated, they’ve gotten better and they’re able to go back on their own, and if anything happens we’ll be there for them.”

Just because someone is in hospice care, doesn’t always mean they’re on their last leg, Labrie said. 

“Sometimes there’s a stigma thinking of hospice that someone is about to pass soon. We don’t rush anybody to pass and there’s people who do graduate,” he said. “So, there’s sometimes that people can go on services with us and they get better, and then we can release them – and that’s our goal.”

Helping Hands’ services start at five days a week, and it has healthcare professionals and even a chaplain that will come out to a patient’s home and basically help them with anything they need.

“With nurses coming out and checking the vital signs, making sure nothing is clogging the airways, making sure there’s no broken skin, making sure they’re taken care of,” Labrie said. “We can prescribe medications and get those medications and take them to them as well.”

The ultimate goal is that the patient is as comfortable and as well-taken care of as possible, and to take some of the stress and worry off family members.

“We do have twenty-four-hour service available with nurses as well,” Labrie said. “So, when those nurses come out, it could be 2 a.m., Thanksgiving, we’re coming out.”

And they try to make it as affordable as possible.

“We either do Medicare, Medicaid, the private insurance, or we take people pro-bono,” he said.

If you think that the time is coming for a loved one to receive hospice care, Labrie said it’s important to do it sooner rather than later.