“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” – Dame Cicely Saunders

March is Women’s History Month, founded to amplify women’s voices and share their side of history. This Women’s History month, Hospice of South Texas is bringing light to Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of modern day hospice and the architect behind the palliative care experience.

About Dame Cicely Saunders

Cicely Saunders was born in England in 1918. Growing up, she suffered from a crooked spine and was never able to fit in with girls her age–giving her empathy for those who were mistreated. During the second World War, she became a nurse at St. Thomas’ Hospital, going on to become a medical social worker and eventually training to become a doctor.

During this time, Saunders spent many years researching pain control and went on to publish an article about a new approach to the end of life. In it, she says, “It appears that many patients feel deserted by their doctors at the end. Ideally the doctor should remain the center of a team who work together to relieve where they cannot heal, to keep the patient’s own struggle within his compass and to bring hope and consolation to the end.”

Cicely Saunders introduced the idea of total pain management, which includes not only physical pain, but also emotional, social, and spiritual needs, as well. She believed that every individual, including patients, family, and friends, should be regarded with dignity, compassion, and respect—until, and even after, the end.

Importance of Hospice and Palliative Care

Much like Cicely Saunders intended, Hospice of South Texas delivers heartfelt care and comfort to those struggling with serious illness. We enable people to regain who they are beyond their illness by helping control symptoms, providing practical support, and empowering control.

We bring expert medical care, practical support, education, and resources to the comfort of your home. Care is delivered wherever you call home – in your private residence or in an assisted living or nursing facility.

Why Hospice of South Texas

We can help control symptoms, ease pain, reduce hospitalizations, and improve comfort and quality of life.

  • Management of the symptoms, pain, stresses, and anxieties that come with serious illness
  • Care focused on improving the quality of life
  • Full support from the Hospice of South Texas team including our hospice physician, nurses, aides, chaplains, social workers, volunteers and many others
  • Education about the disease process, helping you understand your loved one’s disease and how to prepare for changing needs
  • Comprehensive, patient-focused care including physical, social, spiritual, and emotional support
  • Prevention of hospital stays and unplanned ER visits
  • Dornburg Center of Compassion, our state-of-the-art inpatient unit providing short term care when symptoms worsen and a higher level of care is needed
  • Resources, education and support for family caregivers

The Legacy of Dame Cicely Saunders

Dame Cicely Saunders went on to earn an array of accolades and honorary degrees, but is most known for being the pioneer behind modern hospice and palliative care. She saw what was lacking for those who were terminally ill, and she dedicated her life advocating on their behalf—allowing them to live as fully as possible despite any illness.

We are proud to observe Women’s History Month, as we honor and celebrate the remarkable women behind Hospice of South Texas and all those who paved the way before them.

For more information, answers, and support, call Hospice of South Texas at our Victoria office at (361) 572-4300 or our Hallettsville office at (361) 798-2077.