Weather you enjoy the floral displays at the Botanical Gardens, playing the piano with your best friend, or the guitar with your grandson, Hospice Buffalo’s caring team of experts are here to help you prioritize your goals and wishes and ensure that you are as comfortable as possible while you live life to its fullest.

“If I live another week, I know it will be a good week. Right now I’m doing everything I did before [I got cancer],” stated Bill, 57-year old Hospice Buffalo patient. “I’m hoping to see the Grand Canyon!”

He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2002. Bill comments, “I had no indication – no symptoms.” Bill recalls, “Over the last 9 years, I was either in chemo or having surgery. I’ve had a ton of chemo – I had to have different types for each kind of cancer. And I’ve had 9 or 10 surgeries…after a while, you stop keeping track.”

Bill’s quality of life was a rollercoaster: “Sometimes I’d get better, but then I’d get worse.”

After Bill received a treatment to help clear his airway, his doctor said, “We’re going to send you home to spend your last Christmas with your family,” and then he recommended Bill to contact Hospice.

“I was surprised when my physician recommended Hospice, but now I’m glad,” Bill justifies. “You get into a funk. I thought about quitting chemo 4 years ago, but I wasn’t ready. This time I knew it was time. And I have no regrets – no regrets at all! Dr. Anne Banas is a sweetheart. She changed my medicine and life is good. I feel better than I have in years! Every day I’m keeping busy…one day at a time enjoying life. I love that I can do things now!”

“Everybody I deal with at Hospice is great. Everybody has compassion,” Bill comments. “They made it clear from my first phone call that everything is about me. I’ve heard this before – sometimes you buy it; sometimes you don’t. But it’s proven – since I’ve been at Hospice, it’s all about me. It’s a good feeling.”

Bill explains how he likes the idea of Hospice: “It gives me peace knowing I can make just one phone call and have anyone I need here to help me take care of stuff. It’s comforting to know that if something goes wrong, I know who to call 24/7. You should try calling any other doctor in middle of the night – not an easy thing to do!” Bill explains, “People don’t really understand Hospice. They think it’s only for the very end or last weeks. It scares people. They have a misconception. When I tell my coworkers that I’m with Hospice, they think I’m on the couch hooked up to an I.V. So I tell them it isn’t like that -- the past few months have been great! I’d like to tell everybody: ‘Don’t be afraid. Look into it -- try to find out what it is before you make a judgement. It’s a wonderful program that’s helped me tremendously.’”

Bill is also happy that he’s finally gaining weight and can eat what he wants. “Every time I think they’re going to tell me what I need to do, I hear, ‘Oh no, it’s not up to us – it’s what you want.’ You hear people say that all the time, but it’s kind of shocking.” Bill adds, “Hospice has done so much for me! If I have a decision to make, they let me know my options and give me their input, but it’s up to me and my family to decide -- we make the final decision. Not like any doctors I’ve seen!”

Bill was strong enough to fly to Oklahoma for his daughter-in-law’s graduation. From there, they drove over 3,000 miles touring Utah, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and the Grand Canyon. Bill and his family had a vacation-of-a-lifetime!

Hospice Buffalo helped Bill become strong enough to enjoy life once again. He LIVED 7 months under hospice care.

How will you enjoy your journey? Visit Facebook.com/HospiceBuffalo and share your story.

What is hospice?

Hospice is a philosophy of care which focuses on comfort and quality of life – allowing seriously ill patients and their loved ones meaningful time together. Hospice provides specialized care services including symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, and psychosocial intervention to address patients’ and their family’s needs and wishes.

Where does Hospice Buffalo provide care?

We provide Hospice care in a setting that best meets the needs of the patient and family – a private residence, a nursing home, an adult home or an assisted living facility – wherever you call home!

Who pays for hospice?

Hospice services are covered in full by Medicare, Medicaid and most private and commercial insurances. No one is refused Hospice care because of inability to pay.

When should I call hospice?

Our patients and their caregivers would answer, "As early as possible," as they have experienced all of Hospice Buffalo’s extraordinary services. The most frequent comment we hear is, “We wish we would have called sooner!” So if someone your loved one has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, now is the right time to call us to learn about Hospice Buffalo’s benefits and services.

For more information visit HospiceBuffalo.com or call (716) 686-8000 for a free consultation.