Park City hospice helps patients make peace during life’s final stage
Liana Teteberg is not afraid to care for patients in their final days of life. She is not scared of shedding tears, and confronting the realities of death does not intimidate her.
Rather, she views it as an enlightening experience. Teteberg and business partner Nancy Bond recently opened Yarrow Hospice & Palliative Care, 120 Parkview Terrace, where they hope to make the final stage of life as positive as possible for their patients.
"We celebrate coming into life when babies are born," Teteberg said. "I believe we should celebrate when people leave, as well. It’s a completion of a life, however it was lived. If we can help them complete things and make peace with whatever it is they need to make peace with, we’ve done our job."
As for the emotion they experience when going through the process with a patient, Teteberg and Bond agreed that letting empathy flow is a vital part of providing complete care.
"I don’t have any problems crying with patients," Teteberg said. "It’s enriching, really. Is it heart-wrenching at times? Absolutely. Does it hurt? Absolutely. But I don’t see that as a negative experience. If I look back on my career, the moments that have been most impactful on my life have been those kinds of experiences."
Teteberg and Bond began the lengthy process to become accredited and approved by Medicare in November 2013. They took their first patient roughly a year later, in September 2014. With a small staff and home offices, they said they are focused on providing hospice care to the local community — the people they consider neighbors and friends.
"Our intent is to serve the Wasatch Back," Teteberg said, adding that staff travels to wherever patients reside to provide the hospice service. "We have no need to become the biggest. We want to be local and we want to be here. We live here and work here."
One of the tenets of their service is ensuring the needs of patients’ families are met, as well.
"It’s important to look at the family as a whole," Bond said. "We really aren’t just focusing on the patient. We’re looking at the family, friends, whatever that unit is as a whole and taking care of everybody’s needs. It’s very comprehensive and holistic."
Having spent her career in hospice care, Teteberg said providing comfort to people in their final days is rewarding. It forces her to value life and to examine her own mortality and what it will be like when she faces death.
"I think you almost have to, in order to be truly present for a patient," she said. "You have to kind of put yourself there, in that situation, and into that person’s life. If you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be in hospice, quite honestly."
One of the common misconceptions of hospice care, Teteberg said, is that it is giving up hope. However, many patients go on to outlive their prognoses — some are even discharged from hospice, returning a year or two later.
"See hospice as making whatever time you’ve got left the best possible," she said. "We can’t do that when you bring hospice in 24 hours before you die. It’s too late. It doesn’t allow the patient and the family to process and experience that part of life, which is maybe the most important phase of our lives, in a way."
Yarrow Hospice & Palliative Care
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