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“From the very beginning Hospice of Leesville was great. They were caring, respectful, understanding, compassionate, informative, always available, and so much more. As primary caregiver I could not have survived without the AWESOME STAFF! Thanks for everything!”

History of Hospice

With time and the advance of medicine, birth and death were transplanted to a new and often strange and intimidating environment: the modern hospital, where family members were merely guests and control rested with unknown health professionals.

While acknowledging the many benefits of modern medicine, a group of clergy, healthcare workers and other thoughtful people began wondering in the 1970s whether these advances, by depriving the natural dying process of its family ties, hadn't also robbed it of its dignity. Out of their concerns hospice care was born in the United States, and the natural process of dying was returned to the home.

Hospice has experienced extraordinary growth since then, with more than 3,000 hospices now serving people in every state of the union and the District of Columbia.

Bringing death out into the open and making sickness and loss a time of sharing and remembrance is difficult. And while the hospice experience may not be for everyone, those who choose hospice find the specialness of caring for a loved one and the richness of sharing memories of youth, trials and joys a rewarding experience never to be forgotten.

Dame Cicely Saunders (founder of the first modern hospice, in London in 1968) summed up the hospice philosophy best when she told her patients:

"You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die."

"You matter to the last moment of your life..."

"Calling hospice is not 'giving up'... it is the opposite. For [our infant daughter], it meant a high quality of life and care from loving, committed and thoughtful professionals. For that, we are ever grateful."

-A surviving mother