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Never losing hope celebrating Hospice Month

When the first hospice opened in England, Barbara Ware was just graduating school.

Less than thirty years later, she would own one herself.

Cahaba Hospice has been locally owned and operated in Selma since 1996, when Ware started it with her husband, Richard. Since then, the hospice has cared for more than 500 patients within a 50-mile radius of the city.

By law, hospices must provide the same services to patients.

No one has to pay for hospice care.

These services includes physical, emotional and mental support. There are members of the clergy who assist the spiritual needs of the patient, as well as social workers.

There is even a small chapel located within the hospice for anyone to come sit for a peaceful moment to pray or reflect.

Most people are deemed eligible for hospice care when they are told they have less than six months to live. But, that does not always mean that they pass away within six months. After all, there are still miracles out there.

Beverly Morgan, a registered nurse who works on the hospice staff, agreed with her, saying that just because someone is under hospice care does not mean that the patient should remain cloistered at home.

Morgan said that everyone works on a flexible schedule to suit the needs of the families that they work with. As long as the families are happy, she said, they are getting their job done.

But, because Cahaba Hospice is locally owned and operated, the staff pride itself on being able to make out of the ordinary decisions.

Sometimes, going above and beyond means providing air conditioning, water or a refrigerator in someone’s home. Candice Trazin and Ann Fuller are among those who make sure families have everything they need, Ware said.

But, in addition to the staff, there are also the volunteers that assist with everything from office work to providing food and going out to visit patients.

Much of the behind the scenes stuff is handled by Richard Ware, who takes care of the business side of the hospice.

As Ware mentioned, just because a person enters hospice does not mean a death sentence has been laid on a person’s head. Sometimes, the patient gets better and are released from hospice care.

Cahaba Hospice also provides free Continuing Education Unit classes and a bereavement support group for anyone, not just hospice patients or caretakers, that is every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

For National Hospice Month, Cahaba Hospice is holding a talk on Alzheimer’s education at the Selma Public Library at 5 p.m. on Nov. 18, a teleconference on helping children understand cancer at noon on Nov. 19 and an in-service program on Advance Directives on Nov. 20 at noon.

For more information on Cahaba Hospice, people can call 334-418-0566.