What Is Hospice?

 

 

Hospice is an interdisciplinary approach to providing medical and supportive care to anybody who faces a life-limiting illness.  It is centered around the patient’s plan of care which is developed by an interdisciplinary team of professionals and input is provided directly by the patient and/or family and caregivers.  Patients have a fundamental right to make decisions regarding their own medical treatment and at this point in their life it is important that they feel in control of those decisions.

Our interdisciplinary team of professionals all work together with the patient and the family to establish and update the patient’s plan of care.

  • Physicians- Our hospice physicians oversee the patient’s care and are the liaisons with the patient’s personal physician and the medical community.
  • Nurses- Our nurses are available 24/7 and provide professional care to manage symptoms and ease pain.
  • Medical Social Workers- Our medical social workers help patients and loved ones cope with social, emotional and financial issues as needed.
  • Hospice Aides- Our hospice aides provide personal care services including bathing, hair and nail care, changing linens, and teaching family members the same while preserving each patient’s dignity and independence.
  • Spiritual Counselor- Our spiritual counselor provides and coordinates spiritual services to patients and their loved ones with respect to each person’s spiritual preferences, if and when the patient and the family so desires.  Our spiritual counselor will also work with the patient’s own clergy person and congregation as desired.
  • Bereavement Coordinator- Our bereavement coordinator is experienced in all aspects of grief and adjusting to loss- whatever that loss may be, and provides education and emotional support.
  • Volunteers- Our hospice volunteers can offer respite for caregivers, socialization and/or support for the patient, and may assist with some everyday things.

 

Other services provided:

  • Bereavement Support- Ongoing bereavement support is provided for loved ones by hospice team members in order to help them cope with their loss.
  • Inpatient Care for Symptom Management- Short-term inpatient care can be provided for patients when their symptoms cannot be controlled in a home setting.
  • Respite Care for Caregivers- Short-term inpatient respite care may be provided for patients whose caregivers require a much needed break.
  • Therapy- Physical, speech, occupational, and massage therapies can be provided in cases where such services will make the patient more comfortable.
  • Dietitian Counseling- A dietitian may be used to consult with the team in order to evaluate the patient’s diet and teach the patient and his or her caregiver(s), how to reach the patient’s dietary goals.
  • Medications- All medications related to the patient’s terminal illness are covered by hospice.  Our physicians and nurses work closely with licensed pharmacists who are experts in end-of-life medication management and finding the right medications to control the patient’s pain and symptoms and keep the patient comfortable.
  • Medical Equipment- Medical equipment is delivered to the patient’s home and includes the assistive equipment needed to help care for the patient.  The patient’s caregiver and/or family is trained on how to safely use the equipment.
  • Medical Supplies- Medical supplies are provided to help care for the patient and may include items such as wound, incontinence and personal care supplies.