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Hospice

Hospice

We care. more. with skilled nursing visits, social work visits, spiritual support, pain & symptom management, medication management, personal care needs, home-medical-equipment coordination.

Hospice Care is for patients who have been told by a physician that they have an illness with a prognosis of six months or less. There is nothing that can be done to improve their condition, and the patient is ready to live more comfortably and forego treatments aimed at prolonging life. We help provide peace and support when facing a life-limiting illness. We listen to your wishes and consider your family’s needs for the highest quality of life possible and to live each day to its fullest.

We will assign all of our Hospice patients a nurse that will visit you where you call home. Whether that be a group home, assisted living facility, or a skilled nursing facility to make sure you live as well as possible for as long as possible. Remember, your terminal illness does not mean your quality of life has to suffer. We are here to make sure you live the rest of your life pain-free and comfortable.

Our hospice care teams include specially trained professionals and volunteers.

  • Medical Director: Our Medical Director works directly with patients’ physicians
  • Registered Nurses: Nurses make regularly scheduled visits and provide expert pain management and symptom control techniques. Nurses are available 24/7.
  • Certified Nursing Assistant: Assist with personal care tasks such as bathing, hair care, nail care, light housekeeping, and meal preparation.
  • Medical Social Worker: Provide emotional support and help families, applying for Medicaid, financial, and assistance applications like wills, trusts surrogates, Advanced Directives, and end of life planning including funeral arrangements.
  • Spiritual Counselor: Provides any type of non-denominational support you need. Our Counselor can help connect with a faith based organization of your choice. Provide support to those who are not religious.
  • Bereavement Counselors: Offer support and counseling for family members of all ages.

 

Services

To make patients as comfortable as possible, we provide a comprehensive combination of health and supportive care, including:

  • Pain and symptom management
  • Medication management
  • Nurse on call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • Bereavement care for the patient’s family for up to 13 months
  • Arrangements for medical supplies, medications and equipment like wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, concentrators and things that the insurance companies won’t cover – like a bed side table, and medical supplies such as bandages and catheters needed in the home.

 

Comfort in Your Home

Care is provided in a patient’s home—whether a family residence, assisted living facility or nursing home.

 

Financial Considerations

Medicare and most health insurance companies cover some or all hospice services. We will assist in clarifying coverage.

 

Questions to Consider

When should the conversation about hospice begin? Considering hospice care and having that discussion with family members or health care professionals can be difficult. However, it’s appropriate and important to discuss all care options—including hospice—during treatment of a life-limiting illness.

 

Signs a Person May Be Ready for Hospice?

To determine if hospice care is a good fit, call us at (616) 464-1117 or toll free at (877) 654-4144.  Considerations include:

  • Treatment for a cure is no longer being tolerated or recommended
  • Pain, nausea, breathing distress and other symptoms have increased and are decreasing quality of life
  • Patient failing to “bounce back” after medical set-backs
  • Decrease in alertness. Patient is emotionally withdrawn, sleeping more or having increased difficulty with comprehension
  • Significantly decreased appetite and weight loss

 

Get Comfortable with the “H Word”

Breaking through the myths helps ensure each conversation about Hospice is accurate and productive.

Myth: Hospice is only appropriate for the last few days of a terminal illness.
Truth: Hospice’s goals are symptom management and quality of life. If a patient’s health status is in continual decline, he or she likely qualifies for Hospice Care sooner.

Myth: A patient cannot leave Hospice.
Truth: Patients don’t always continually decline. Sometimes health will improve. Hospice is based on ongoing evaluation. Patients can come off or go on Hospice as needed.

Myth: If on Hospice, a patient cannot receive any treatment.
Truth: Hospice is not based on a “no treatment” philosophy, rather a shift in treatment goals. If a patient is on Hospice for cardiac problems and then breaks a bone, that injury can be treated without coming off Hospice.

Myth: All medications stop and morphine is administered.
Truth: Medications that are necessary to preserve quality of life are continued. A multi-disciplinary team ensures medications are continually evaluated and discussed.

Myth: Patients die sooner on Hospice.
Truth: According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Hospice care patients can live 29 days longer than Non-Hospice patients, with a better quality of life.

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