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Tom Briggs, right, shown visiting with a KPHC client
recently.

A family blessed by Hospice
Tom Briggs has served countless hospice patients and families over the years as a respiratory therapist with Kennebec Pharmacy & Home Care (KPHC).

He didn't understand the true impact of hospice care, however, until he experienced it in his own family.

When Tom's dad was terminally ill, Tom and his five siblings called MaineGeneral Hospice, the first Medicare-certified hospice in Maine.

Hospice has a long tradition of providing comfort care and physical, social, emotional and spiritual support to individuals and families facing a life-threatening illness.

"The nurses provided more than care," Tom recalls. "They added to my dad's longevity and quality of life. They picked up things his doctor wouldn't see because they saw him more often, in his home environment."

"We were so grateful to have these professionals coming into the home and making sure he got the care he needed," he adds. "They gave us the tools to be able to keep him at home."

The Hospice nurses helped Tom and his siblings know what to expect at the true end of their dad's life.

"We felt so blessed to be with him at the end and be a part of his death," Tom says. "He died with dignity at home, where he wanted to be. It was a great way to remember my dad. MaineGeneral made that possible."

Experiencing Hospice as a son enriched Tom's work as a respiratory therapist.

"Before my dad died, I saw bits and pieces of Hospice care when I went into people's homes. When (Hospice) came into my parents' home, I couldn't believe the level of service they provide at the end of life and the caring way they relate to patients and family members. It's truly awe-inspiring."

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