• Traveling Life’s Final Chapter Together

    December 10, 2019 | Blog
  • “The people who make you smile from just seeing them, those are my favorite people.” Leonardo da Vinci 

    Spend less than 10 minutes with Paradigm Health hospice nurse Meredith Briles and you will have, most likely, smiled the entire time. Her “lean in” enthusiasm and dedication to caring for her hospice patients and their families as they travel life’s final chapter together is something very special — just like Meredith.  

    “I’m truly honored to work with the hospice patients, caregivers and families that I see every day,” shares Briles. “Compassion and empathy are really at the heart of everything I do which goes beyond just providing physical care for a patient who is nearing the end of their life. To me, that connection I can create and strengthen every day is so important. Beyond giving medications, providing a sense of happiness and comfort for them is as vital for the patient as the clinical treatment.” 

    While gaining her degree as a registered nurse, Briles also worked as a photographer. For her, the two careers had a similar foundation in that she was always getting people to smile and laugh or to convey their true emotions to catch a snapshot of them in an authentic moment. Today, Briles is often able to integrate her love of photography by capturing moments of her hospice patients and their families that she can share with them for treasured memories. Many of the families Briles has come to know through the years have stayed in touch with her. “When you are given the honor of caring for a loved one, you often become like an extension of their family and those are very special and rewarding relationships that last forever.” 

    The importance of building relationships and valuing those interactions is what drew Briles to Paradigm Health as an employer. “They are committed to enriching and valuing each and every day of a hospice patient’s life and offer so much more than just what is standard care. They also know how important it is to value and support their employees and I think that just translates to better caregiving for patients and families.”  

    Each journey is individual 

    For many families with a loved one on hospice care, knowing what to expect as the journey unfolds is daunting. Having a caresupport partner like Paradigm Health and nurses like Briles can help ease fears and let both patient and family know they have resources available to make the process easier. The hands-on nature of a hospice nurse’s work is much more than providing physical care for a patient and extends to support for the caregiver and family as well 

    There is something very special about caring for geriatric patients or those on hospice,” Briles says. “I’m not a clock-watcher and I always spend as much time as I need with each patient and I want them to always receive consistent care. I want to look into their eyes and know that they feel safe, are glad to see a familiar face, and that I’m making a difference for them providing comfort and peace. For me it is about taking the time to know each patient individually and then meeting those needs whatever they may be. 

    Care that makes a difference 

    Patients of Briles always light up when she arrives for her visit. They know that her caring smile and immediate reach for their hand means she’s “all in” during her time with them. And, while she is “all in” during her time at work, Briles is married and busy being a mom to one adult child and two younger children and still dabbles in photography when she has the chance 

    “I have high standards. I want to provide excellent medical care and that involves medicines to keep the patient comfortable, treating wounds or anything physical that needs my attention,” says Briles. “But my calling to care for hospice patients goes far beyond just the hands-on care. I make sure that my patients have any and all options of care to soothe, comfort and enrich each day of their end-of-life journey. No matter what you believe, there is a spiritual side to hospice care and my patients know I’m there for them no matter what they need — smiles included. 

    Do you or someone you know need help in understanding or finding hospice care for a loved one? Or, have questions about what hospice care really is? Visit myparadigmhealth.com for more information. 

    Hospice care concentrates on alleviating symptoms, pain, and stress that come from a serious illness. It is specifically for patients who are in the terminal phase of their life, and no longer wish to seek aggressive or curative treatments. Hospice Care can be provided in a hospital, a nursing home, assisted living, a patient’s home, or any place that a patient may live.  

    Hospice Care focuses on the whole patient – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Paradigm Hospice Care  focuses on the  living,  encouraging our patients and families to maximize and enjoy each and every day. 

    • Hospice Care is: 
    • For persons who have a terminal prognosis of six months or less 
    • Dependent on prognosis 
    • Medicare Part A benefit 
    • An interdisciplinary team approach to care 
    • End-of-life care