Hospice Lifts Spirits at Happy Hour

Hospice Lifts Spirits at Happy Hour

If you were to walk into Laguna Honda Hospital's hospice late on a Friday afternoon, you might mistake it for your local bar at happy hour.

If you were to walk into Laguna Honda Hospital’s hospice late on a Friday afternoon you might mistake it for your local bar at happy hour. For 20 years, the innovative hospice at this San Francisco facility has set an example for other nursing homes around the country. One of its more unique treatments is happy hour, as colorfully depicted in video reportage by The San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com).

Twice a month at 4 p.m. on Friday the attending physician, Dr. Derek Kerr, acts as bartender for his patients, many of whom are on their deathbeds. Patients are allowed to indulge in their favorite vices — cocktails, cigarettes and staying up late are all enjoyed while jazz music plays on a boom box. Other hospitals may forbid such behavior but Dr. Kerr believes that “these are habits that are permitted at home and they should be permitted here. Their health and longevity is no longer a primary concern. It’s about the quality of their life.”

Length: 4:07

Story: Elizabeth Fernandez

Photography/Editing: James Irwin and Frederic Larson

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