The Celtic translation for the word “Hospice” means “Soul friend”.
“Nothing else can be done” does not mean that euthanasia is the only option you have left.
For decades, the hospice concept has been utilized for individuals desiring palliative end-of-life care. For many families, upon learning from a physician that a loved one is suffering from an illness or disease for which there is no cure, hospice care becomes the next step to assure that our family member is kept comfortable and is treated with dignity and respect throughout the dying process.
Hospice Care for Pets is modeled after Human Hospice: Hospice care seeks to provide medical and palliative (pain relieving or comfort giving) care for animals. Good pain control, and finding different ways to make a pet comfortable are examples of things that are integral parts of Hospice Care. But most importantly it also includes holistic care for owners struggling with care decisions, euthanasia decisions, and strives to help pets and their owners to say goodbye. It helps people come to terms with their pets' illnesses and decide their comfort level with treatment versus making their pet comfortable. Hospice Care also involves counseling to reach good decisions as well as help through the grieving process which goes beyond medication management. Hospice Care really is based on accepting death as a part of life; making good plans and decisions, and offering compassionate care and ensuring the comfort of the pet..
"Hospice allows you, the pet parent the ability to keep your trusted friend comfortable in their own home, in familiar surroundings, with the people that have loved and cared for him or her throughout their life."
Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center commitment to you is to be by your side in this journey with the same respect and dignity we are known for, helping you in the following ways:
- Being with you to formulate a plan for this journey. Because each pet is unique, each of the plans is uniquely built to suit your needs.
- Teaching you the signs to look for as your companion passes from one stage to the next in the final journey.
- By arranging for veterinarians and trained staff to care for your pet in their own comfortable surroundings, thereby avoiding difficult and often painful transport to a clinic.
- Phone calls and/or home visits, as needed, to check in on you and your beloved companion and monitor changes.
- Home evaluations to see what adjustments can be made for the pets comfort and day-to-day activities.
- Providing to you, the education and support in end-of-life care, symptoms and pain management.
- Making available to you professionally trained medical pet sitters that can stay with your pet when you need to be away from home.
- A staff of counselors and clergy, available to talk with you, either by phone or in your home.
Three components make up the hospice philosophy:
Medical care includes recognizing pain and other symptoms, anticipating changes and complications, administering medications and other remedies to keep your pet comfortable and happy. Monitoring your pet´s quality of life will protect him from unnecessary suffering and spare you some of the anguish when facing this significant loss.
Nursing care includes administering medications, monitoring vital signs and changes in your pets´ condition and offering advice on modifications to make your pet more comfortable.
Support for the family means providing emotional and empathetic support, and providing information on coping with the changes that are occurring. As painful as this process is, you will find that you will bond in a way that you never thought possible with your pet, an opportunity to unconditionally return the love that they so unconditionally gave to you. You will have inner peace knowing that, to animals, dying is as much a part of life as birth, and you loved them enough to share this process with them.
Meet Our Pet Hospice Veterinarian
Dr Sarah Roelofs began her veterinary career in the greater Chicago area where she practiced for 13 years at a well known small animal & avian veterinary hospital. In 2004, she and her husband decided to move closer to family in Omaha, while raising their 2 young sons. Over the past 10 years, she has worked as a relief veterinarian at various hospitals, but mostly worked permanent part time at several hospitals simultaneously. She enjoyed working in different environments, with varied management styles and developing friendships with diverse staff. She also enjoyed treating and caring for birds and small mammals, along with dogs and cats. Most recently, she is enjoying the flexibility that being a relief veterinarian provides.
Dr. Roelofs was specially trained in providing in home pet hospice and euthanasia services. She received her training from the first total end of life care providers in the country. She is excited about what Paws to Angels can provide and what she can do to help in the area of in home pet hospice care.
When she is not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, photography, and keeping up with her sons’ baseball, soccer and scouting activities. She has been doing pet therapy visits with her Golden Retriever Jake, through Midlands Pet Therapy for 5 years now. The newest member of the family, Olivia, is a puppy in training to become another therapy dog.
To learn more about the animal hospice and palliative care services offered at Paws To Angels Pet Loss Center, please contact us at 402-507-0585.