New Hospice Director Leads With Experience and Compassion
As newly named director for Hospice of Siouxland, Ann Myers knows the value of hospice and palliative care, inside and out.
From her first job out of nursing school in a small-town hospice, to working as a home health nurse, then as part owner of 11 nursing homes where she was involved in daily operations, and most recently as community care consultant for Hospice of Siouxland, Myers has been on the front lines of end-of-life caregiving for most of her 30-year career.
Her most valuable experience would come through her parents’ end-of-life journeys.
“Both my parents experienced Hospice of Siouxland’s services for several months before they died,” Myers says.
“Because of Hospice of Siouxland’s expertise, they were comfortable and alert up until a few days before they died.”
“My dad was able to die in his own bed in his assisted living apartment with his children present. My mom passed away after moving to a nursing home her last week of life, also surrounded by her children and hospice team members.
“My siblings and I can’t thank Hospice of Siouxland enough for making those final memories with our parents such precious ones.”
As Hospice of Siouxland Director, Myers leads a team of more than 100 nurses, social workers, ancillary staff and volunteers providing hospice and palliative care services throughout a 12-county region.
“Hospice and palliative care services assist families early on, whether their loved one is at home or in a care facility,” she says. “We help coordinate their care and provide medical assistance in helping to manage their symptoms and keep them comfortable.”
Educating people on when to call for hospice services is a priority for Myers.
“Many people in the general public and some in the medical field feel that hospice care is for the last days of life,” she says.
“But hospice services can do so much more to help people write their life’s last chapter. We need to allow everyone the time to process what they are experiencing and what they want those final days to look like.”
“We need to be comfortable talking about the subject of death before we are experiencing it,” the director says. “How do we want to live out our days? Have you witnessed a beautiful death? Have you experienced a very difficult death? It is a daily occurrence that we need to bring to the dinner table and be comfortable discussing.”
As Hospice of Siouxland Director, Myers also seeks to educate the public and medical professionals about Palliative Care Services, which provide care for anyone with a chronic condition struggling keeping their symptoms under control. Palliative care works with a patient’s primary care physician to regulate the conditions that are causing frequent doctor’s office visits, emergency room visits and/or hospitalizations.
To learn more about hospice and palliative care services provided by Hospice of Siouxland, or to schedule a presentation for your group, please call (712) 233-4144 or go to hospiceofsiouxland.com.