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FNS Photo by Nick Wagner Mary Nelson sits with her dog, Muffin, inside her Fargo home on Friday. Nelson is a strong proponent of hospice after her positive experiences with the care network when her mother and husband were dying. Nelson was at the bedside of her husband, Donovon, while Muffin lay with him as he died under hospice care.

Service gap: Hospice providers say stigmas keep them from helping patients earlier

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FARGO — When Donovon Nelson’s back problems started causing him to fall down, his wife, Mary, knew where he could get help.

She recommended Hospice of the Red River Valley, which eased her mother’s last weeks of life. Hospice staff members started visiting the Nelsons and did the same for Donovon, allowing him to stay out of the hospital or a nursing home.

Mary still remembers the names of the nurse and assistant who helped take care of him.

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