2017 Caring Partners

The 2017 Caring Partner Initiative is now underway, with all proceeds for patients and programs of Hospice of Havasu.

Each year, Hospice of Havasu has its Carng Partner Initiative, an opportunity for families and businesses to make one-time major gifts to Hospice of Havasu. All funds collected stay in Mohave and LaPaz county, used only for patients and programs.


Shirley Santiago — $10,000

Apothecary Shop — $10,000

Printing Plus — $1,000

Outcasts Car Club — $1,000

Mr. and Mrs. John Wenschlag — $1,000

Mr. and Mrs. Hans Finsterwalder — $1,000

Ms. Yvonne Foti — $1,000

Pastor Sandy Johnson — $1,000

Arizona Living Realty — $1,000

Liz and Tom Miller — $2,500

Havasu Regional Medical Center — $5,000

John and Cindy Hughes — $5,000

Horizon Community Bank — $1,000

Mudshark Pizza — $2,500

Havasu Fitness — $2,500

Rick and Patrice Holloway — $1,000

NSC Certified Public Accountants — $1,000

Calvary Baptist Church — $1,000

Dan Mathews — $2,500

Bradley Ford — $1,000

Michael and Heidi Lyster — $1,000

Shelley Wintory — $2,500

Don and Kathy Hodel — $1,000

The Bundy Family — $1,000

Kenneth and Sally Salter — $1,000

Join us on Facebook

The Hospice of Havasu Facebook page is updated several times a week, and is a good way to stay in touch with your not-for-profit hospice choice.fb

It is a popular way for many in our greater community to stay in touch with current events, activities by staff and volunteers and a variety of other photos and stories.

To see our Facebook page, Click Here.

Why Do We Avoid Advanced Directives?

A Pew Research Center study found that only 29 percent of the people surveyed had a living will. The study indicated that public attitudes on these and many other end-of-life issues are unchanged from 1990, despite advances in lifesaving technology, the aging of the population, and the controversy associated with the Terri Schiavo case. Although most Americans believe it should be up to the individual to ultimately determine end-of-life decisions, too few actually make any provisions to make their own personal wishes known.

Why Do We Avoid Advanced Directives?The survey also found that although overall attitudes are largely stable, people are increasingly thinking about and planning for their own medical treatment in the event of a terminal illness or incapacitating medical condition.

Advance directives are also known as living wills. These are formal legal documents specifically authorized by state laws that allow patients to continue their personal autonomy by providing instructions for care in case they become incapacitated and cannot make decisions. A durable power of attorney is also known as a health care proxy. This document allows the patient to designate a surrogate, a person who will make treatment decisions for the patient if the patient becomes too incapacitated to make such decisions.

Aging with Dignity is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to affirm and safeguard the human dignity of individuals as they age and to promote better care for those near the end of life. The work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta served as the inspirational foundation of Aging with Dignity.

Aging with Dignity founder Jim Towey served as Mother Teresa’s friend and legal counsel for 12 years and was a full-time volunteer in her home for people with AIDS. It was her care and concern for all people’s medical, emotional, and spiritual needs, which provided the inspiration in 1997 for Five Wishes.

Called by some ‘‘the living will with a heart and soul,’’ Five Wishes today meets the legal requirements in 40 states. The document is available in 23 languages and in Braille.

And, team members at Hospice of Havasu have copies of the Five Wishes available. Please call our office, at (928)453-2111, and request one, and a trained member of our staff will be happy to discuss the best way to use Five Wishes, or Click Here.

Survey Numbers:
  • 25% of patients receive care inconsistent with their living wills
  • 29% of Americans say they have living wills
  • 29% of patients change their minds about life-sustaining treatment over time
  • 30% of surrogates incorrectly interpret their loved ones’ written instructions
  • 50% of terminally ill patients have advance directives in their medical records
  • 62% of patients with living wills do not give them to their physicians
  • 64% of dying patients’ living wills do not cover the clinical realities they face
  • 78% of patients with life-threatening illnesses prefer to leave decisions about resuscitation to their physicians and families

Sources: “More Americans Discussing — and Planning — End-of-Life Treatment,” The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Jan. 5, 2006; “Enough: The Failure of the Living Will,” Hastings Center Report, March-April 2004; “Advance Care Planning: Preferences for Care at the End of Life,” Research in Action, Issue 12, U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, March 2003; “Role of written advance directives in decision making: insights from qualitative and quantitative data,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, July 1998.

Patient-Centered Care At End Of Life: 

Happier Patients Live Longer In Less Pain

New doctors take an oath to first do no harm, but physicians often go too far in their quest to keep that oath – exposing patients to aggressive treatments that don’t improve outcomes and drive up healthcare costs. 

Researchers from UCLA Urology have found that patient-centered care at end-of-life – ensuring a dying person’s wishes are known and followed – results in happier, less depressed patients who are in less pain and survive longer. 

This type of care also helps to keep healthcare costs down for patients with advanced cancers and other diseases that can’t be effectively treated by eliminating aggressive measures that the patients might not want.

Patient-Centered Care At End Of Life

The perspective piece appears March 20, 2013 in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Surgery.

Medical care during the final stages of life often is poorly coordinated and inattentive to a patient’s preferences, the perspective states. End-of-life care also consumes the lion’s share of healthcare dollars. A 2004 study found that 30 percent of Medicare resources are expended on the 5 percent of beneficiaries who die every year, and one-third of costs in life’s last year are accounted for during the final month.

Studies also have found that patient-centered care can reduce costs in the last week of life by 36 percent and death, when it comes, is less likely to occur in an intensive care unit.

UCLA researchers are testing the patient-centered care model on cancer patients being treated at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center. One of the first things done with these critically ill patients is to determine their goals in a multidisciplinary environment, integrating a palliative care specialist at the outset. The physician and specialist see the patient on the same day to coordinate their care.

“Unfortunately, the opposite is usually what happens. They come in with incurable diseases and there’s no discussion of prognosis and goals of care,” Bergman said. “Then a lot of very aggressive treatments can occur due to inertia. Patients are placed in an intensive care unit with oxygen and feeding tubes, and that’s not always in line with their goals.”

Patients who want aggressive care should, of course, receive it, Bergman said. But the UCLA research team is finding that there are many who don’t and they just haven’t been queried about their needs.

To change this, the perspective suggests that one of the first things that needs to happen is educating residents about patient-centered care. Physicians will be better prepared to practice in the 21st century, and to maximize patient outcomes, if they are guided toward appropriate care for their patients in life’s final stages, Bergman said.

Secondly, changes should be considered to Medicare, which pays for the majority of care at the end of life. However, meaningful policy discussions on this issue have proven elusive, and recent suggested changes have been characterized as creating “death panels,” causing policy makers to shy away from such decision making, Bergman said.

“Given the disproportionate cost of care at the very end of life, the issue should be revisited,” the perspective states. “Addressing goals of care, not to deny aggressive care to those who want it, but to ensure that we deliver aggressive care only to those who do, reduces costs and improves outcomes.”

Lastly, UCLA researchers suggest that hospital scorecards be changed to reflect this new care model. The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, has an annual report on quality and safety that ranks hospitals using evidence-based processes known to be linked to patient outcomes. However, none of the 44 accountability measures or the six non-accountability measures in the report address end-of-life care or assessment of patient preferences.

“Adding such measures to the report would improve practice as well as inform patient-centered care by empowering individuals to make educated decisions,” Bergman said. “Better care in life’s final stages should and can be led by physicians, who have accepted the mission of skillfully – and thoughtfully – caring for patients at every step of life’s journey.”

From Medical News Today, first published March 2013.     See

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