Hospice thanks Mitchell Insurance and First Hope


On September 8, 2016, the Mitchell Insurance Agency & First Hope Bank proudly sponsored Mitchell Cares 2nd Annual Charity Casino Gala. Our gala benefited a local home-care specialist organization (Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice) as well as a local child abuse advocacy program (Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Morris and Sussex Counties). As a result, we raised $20,000 to split between the two charities. The money raised will be used by CASA to provide advocacy for children who are victims of abuse and neglect and are in the foster care system. CASA ensures that these vulnerable children find safe, permanent and nurturing homes.  Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice would use the donated money to help provide: grief counseling and educational programs, and special amenities to enhance the quality of life for dying patients – such as heating, cooling, additional caregivers, holiday meals, transportation, and specialized equipment.

To read more about the fundraiser please visit http://themitchellagency.com/everyone-was-all-in-at-our-2nd-annual-charity-casino-gala/

Ask the Expert – Dispelling myths about morphine

My doctor suggested morphine to ease some of the pain I am experiencing with my life-limiting illness. I am afraid of morphine because I have heard that it speeds death?

Morphine is a powerful analgesic that is used to relieve pain. It acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to decrease the feeling of pain. It can be used for both acute and chronic pain.

Many people worry about the use of morphine. Morphine and other medications in the morphine family, such as hydromorphone, codeine and fentanyl, are called opioids. People worry that opioids will speed the dying process or they will become addicted.

Morphine is sometimes used when a person is in the advanced stages of illness, and his or her overall condition is declining. If the person is experiencing moderate to severe pain or shortness of breath, his or her doctor will often prescribe morphine. This opioid helps maintain the person’s comfort throughout the illness and up to the time of death. The person declines because of the illness with or without the morphine.

There is no evidence that opioids such as morphine hasten the dying process when a person receives the right dose to control the symptoms he or she is experiencing. Research suggest that using opioids to treat pain or shortness of breath near the end of life may help a person live a bit longer. Pain and shortness of breath are exhausting and significantly impact the person’s quality of life.

If a person has never received morphine, the initial doses given are low. They are gradually increased to relieve the person’s level of pain or shortness of breath. Once a person has used morphine, it can either be used occasionally or more continuously as needed. There is not an immediate addiction to the drug.

There are many opiates available today which are many times stronger than morphine. The effects of morphine are well documented, and when used appropriately it can be an important part of symptom management in hospice care.

Hospice doctors and nurses teach patients and families about when and how to use morphine and other symptom management medications, so that patients can be comfortable, and can enjoy an optimum quality of life while remaining in the setting of their choice.

The month of September has been declared Pain Awareness Month.  Pain Awareness Month is a time when various organizations work to raise public awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management. It’s important to know how to manage pain in those experiencing a life-limiting illness. Sometimes a preconceived idea about morphine can delay or halt the use of a medication that can offer pain and symptom relief. If you would like to learn more about hospice care and management of pain due to a life-limiting-illness please contact our office at 973-383-0115.

Susan Dell , RN
Nursing Supervisor
Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice

Home for Hospice nominated for New Business Award

Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice has been nominated for the prestigious Sussex County Economic Development Partnership New Business Award. The Sussex County Economic Development Partnership will hold its Awards Luncheon on Friday, September 23, 2016 at 12:00 Noon at The Lafayette House, Lafayette, NJ.

When is the right time to have that “difficult conversation?”

We Procrastinate.  We’re not proud of it, be we all do it.  It’s no secret that many of us “hit the ground running” each day; come up for air on weekends and marvel, perplexed and vexed, at the passage of time.  No wonder talking “face to face” has been put on hold.  Multi-tasking and technological advances, such as voicemail, email, facebook, tweeting and text-messaging, have nearly rendered dialogue as an archaic art form.

And yet, we know there are really important circumstances that warrant more than a perfunctory “fly by” chat with our spouse, child, colleague or friend.  Serious illness is one of the critical issues requiring a deliberate and sensitive discussion with our loved ones.  The value of having a true “heart to heart” talk with our family regarding our health, health care wishes and future health care cannot be underestimated.

A recent survey, conducted by the Conversation Project, reported that 90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important, but only 27% have actually done so.

80% of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about end-of-life care. 7% report having had an end-of-life conversation with their doctor.

Similarly, 70% of people surveyed say they want to die at home, but in reality, 70% die in hospitals or institutions.

I would urge everyone to make the time for meaningful, albeit challenging, conversations about life-changing issues.  If you find the task daunting, there are many wonderful social workers, counselors and clinicians in your community that are trained to help.  You’ll be so glad you did!


Marlina R. Schetting, MSW, LCSW, CT
Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice 

Photo of elderly woman tells a story for the doctor

When is the right time to have that difficult conversation?