It takes many different skills to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of hospice and palliative care patients and those who love and care for them. Our hospice and palliative care programs offer you the full resources of our team. All members of your care team meet regularly to discuss your needs, share ideas and make plans that will be reviewed with you.
- The Patient: Our hospice patients direct their care, and the focus is on their particular needs and wishes. We offer a wide range of services designed to enhance quality of life and control pain and other symptoms of the patient’s disease. The patient always has a choice about the services and techniques they receive. The hospice patient takes an active role in their care and works closely with their primary caregiver in the care planning process. They have the right to refuse any care or services offered.
- Primary Caregiver: The primary caregiver (a family member, close friend, or hired caregiver) is responsible for seeing that the patient’s physical needs are safely met on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, the caregiver role is shared among several individuals. The caregiver communicates with our hospice team, keeping us informed of any changes in the patient’s condition. This information is essential because it helps our hospice team know how we can best meet the needs of the our patients.
- Hospice Physician: A hospice physician is responsible for the medical direction of care for patients in our hospice program. This physician is often the one who referred the patient to hospice care. The hospice physician will serve as a consultant, working closely with the patient’s doctor and coordinating our hospice team activities.
- Hospice Nursing Team: Nursing care for our hospice patients is provided by our team of Registered Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses and includes pain, and symptom control, emotional support, nutritional counseling, evaluation of disease progression, and any nursing procedure deemed necessary by the physician. The nurse also works closely with the patient or caregivers by phone, regularly visits to monitor the patient’s condition, and coordinates patient services.
- Hospice and Palliative Care Social Workers: Our Social Workers provide counseling and emotional support to patients, caregivers, and loved ones in our hospice and palliative care programs. Our Social Workers are experienced counselors who can walk the patient and their family through what to expect. The Social Worker is skilled at helping families communicate with each other. They can also help with practical problems, including assisting with financial and legal concerns and referrals to community resources.
- Hospice Personal Care Provider: Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are included in your hospice benefit for patients in the hospice program. They are trained to provide personal care to the patient.
- Spiritual Care Coordinators: Spiritual Care Coordinators offer spiritual support and care in keeping with the patient and family’s cultural and religious background. Our Spiritual Care Coordinator can help connect the patient with a clergy member of their faith or can help you consult with their clergy.
- Volunteers: Our specially trained volunteers may support the patient, provide friendship, run errands, and offer respite for caregivers.
- Grief Care Services: Our Grief Care Services program provides support for all members of the patient’s family from the moment a patient is admitted to our hospice program and for at least twelve months after the death of a loved one.
Other professionals may be called on from time to time to assist in the hospice patient’s care. These additional services may include:
- Homemaker Services: Homemakers can provide light-duty housework in the patient area when deemed necessary by the Hospice team and patient/patient caregiver.
- Therapy Services: Available services include nutritional counseling, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy, ostomy care, and wound care.
- Inpatient Care: A patient may qualify for inpatient care at one of our three dedicated hospice houses to control acute pain and other symptoms or provide respite for the caregivers.
- Continuous Care: Our hospice team will provide crisis management in a patient’s home for short periods, when necessary.
Other services provided under the hospice benefit and arranged by your hospice team members may include:
- Medical Supplies and Equipment: We order all necessary medical supplies and equipment, and they are delivered directly to the patient’s home.
- Pharmacy Services: Our nurses work directly with the patient or caregiver to ensure adequate supplies of medications are on hand and are ordered in a timely manner. Our contracted pharmacies respond to the needs of our patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.