Industry pro, caregiver hope to reverse stigma of hospice care as interest increases

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Many think of hospice care as the “end of the road,” according to Alabama Hospice Care Account Executive Melinda Summerlin.

“That doesn’t always have to be the case,” she said. “Hospice is designed to provide comfort and care and support for patients and their families with a 24/7 access to nurses, to aids.”

The interest in hospice care is growing in Mobile and Baldwin counties due in large part to the growing retirement population, according to Summerlin.

Deborah Hall has used outpatient hospice care for her mother for three years.

“I will not regret anything when my mother passes away. I have done everything I can do, and that’s a big deal,” she said.

Hall takes over duties in the morning and at night, a sitter comes during the day, and nurses come at varying frequencies during the week, depending on how her mother is doing.

Both Hall and Summerlin want to reverse the stigma that’s associated with the term “hospice,” and urge people to research hospice care options at an earlier stage.

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