What is Hospice?
Hospice is a wonderful benefit provided for those facing a life-limiting illness. Hospice care offers emotional and physical care to allow for the best quality of life. Too often patients and families wait until the last days or weeks of life to elect hospice when they could have enjoyed months of very helpful hospice services.
Specifically, hospice consists of the following:
- Hospice is a concept of care, not a place.
- Hospice services are provided where the patient lives, e.g. a nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult family home, etc.
- Hospice focuses on the relief of suffering and improving the quality of life.
- Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a normal process; it neither hastens nor postpones death.
- Hospice offers emotional and spiritual support, as well as medical care. It is holistic, giving equal attention to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and families.
- Hospice also provides support to the patient’s family, including grief support services.
Specialty Hospice Services We Provide
- Continual Assessment of all symptoms, plan of care changes as needed for comfort
- Patient/Family Education of pain control
- Medication delivered to home
This service is set up to allow the caregiver time to attend to other needs, with the confidence that their loved one is being cared for
- Delivery and pickup of all medical equipment
- Home is set up for comfort for the patient
Assistance provided by the hospice team to coordinate all plans related to the end of life (Living will, power of attorney and funeral arrangements, etc.)
- Prescriptive music at the bedside
- Reduces physical and emotional anxiety and pain
- Assists with reminiscing and positive memories
- Attentive touch can reduce stress & anxiety
- Facilitates relaxation
- can be helpful in managing pain
Our Hospice Care Team
The Medical Director leads the care team in developing a plan of care to meet each patient’s specific needs, provides consultation to physicians regarding hospice care, and certifies terminal prognosis as part of the hospice eligibility process.
Care Nurses have specialized training in pain and symptom management. They evaluate patient and family needs, coordinate the plan of care with the care team, and guide education for patients and their loved ones.
Aides are the heart of care, building warm relationships with patients and families as they bring personal care, comfort, and emotional support. They provide assistance with daily living needs such as showering and housekeeping.
The Social Worker works with emotional and financial needs, assists with end-of-life planning, develop plans of care, provides direct counseling, and arranges referrals to community agencies as necessary.
Volunteers give their time and talents to bring to patients and their loved ones. Volunteers visit and do activities with patients, provide breaks for family members and caregivers, and support at the time of death and during bereavement.
Treating the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – includes helping to meet the spiritual needs of the patient and family. The Spiritual Counselor assesses the patient’s and family’s spiritual needs, develops a plan of care to meet identified needs, provides direct counseling, consults with community clergy, and provides bereavement support.
One of the very important services we provide is bereavement support for families and loved ones. Some family members need more support, others less. The Bereavement Counselor helps assess what’s needed, provide individual and group counseling during the minimum of 13 months of bereavement support for the family after the loss of a loved one.