In the News

The Benefits of Reminiscence Therapy for Seniors


For both the elderly and their caregivers, the ailments and struggles that come with aging shadow a more carefree, happy past. We’re busy focusing on medication management, installing new handles in the shower or researching assisted living facilities. As dementia, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive issues strengthen their grip on a loved one, many feel as if they’re losing that person they once knew. A similar identity crises may be going on inside for them, as well.

Old photographs serve as a good tool to trigger memories from long ago.

For many residents of assisted living or seniors at home with caregivers, reminiscence therapy has proven to be a beneficial activity on many levels. Reminiscence therapy, recalling events from the past using the senses–objects to touch and hold, smell, sound, taste–can range from the simple act of conversation in your loved one’s home, to a certified therapist using props and clinical methods to help an Alzheimer’s patient retrieve long-ago memories.

The benefits of reminiscence therapy in assisted living facilities or at home with a caregiver can be long-reaching. Elders often become isolated from their identities as their memories begin to falter, and as the day-to-day issues of living overwhelm the past. Establishing a way to connect with long-ago memories can help re-tie that rope to familiarity. Other benefits include:

Increased ability to communicate. Often, when you watch someone re-tell a story, you watch them come alive with memory and emotion. Research has shown new pathways in the brain form as a patient remembers the past.
Provide relief from boredom, a distraction from day-to-day problems.
Alleviate symptoms of depression and helps cope with aging.
Reestablish life meaning for a person through connection to the past and reassert that person’s feeling of importance.
Increased self worth and sense of belonging in the world.
Preserve stories and memories for future generations.
Helping Your Elder Recall Memories from the Past

Many who suffer from Alzheimer’s or have other memory loss issues (read about “what causes memory loss”) can’t remember simple things from the recent past, like what they had for breakfast, who came to visit the other day or the name of their granddaughter’s husband. But memories from early childhood and young adulthood may come readily with a little prompting. Methods to get your loved one talking include storytelling–you start a known family story and prompt him or her to finish the story–or simply start by asking questions. You can take 15 minutes out of your day, or more formally, record the memories or conversations on a digital camera or voice recorder. Here are some good conversation starters:

The cost of items in the 1950s — for example, eggs were $0.79 a dozen, a Chevrolet Corvette was $3,000 and Saturday matinee movie tickets ran between ten or 20 cents. (source Moby Tickets)
What was your favorite TV show or movie from the past?
Where were you when…? When Kennedy was assassinated, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, when the Russians launched Sputnik.
What was your first job?
Talk about your favorite trip or travels.
Find a knick-knack, old photograph or other item in the attic or off the shelf and ask about its history.
Other tools include scrapbooking software that allow you to scan and arrange photos into memory books to prompt discussion, books about memorable events in history and the Senior Moments Game, a board game that helps–in a fun way–to prompt memories.

Caregiver Benefits of Reminiscence Therapy

You may have heard the story over and over, and your first thought is to tune it out. However, tuning in to the story, making eye contact, and asking questions brings about true, engaged communication with your loved one when other communication is difficult. Using the prompts, you may discover a new story, and you may see your mom or dad, aunt or friend in a new light. And regardless of the repetition, we connect with a greater humanity when we share stories.

 

 

Real life story by Tim Verville, Hospice of Southwest Ohio

“My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s and I found it difficult to communicate with her as it appeared she was living in a different time.  I faced the challenge of determining my mother’s mental age.   I put together a  photo album starting with the earliest family pictures followed by latest  pictures at the back.  I then started at the back of the album until she responded to my 4th grade class picture 

It was amazing.  As soon as she saw the class picture she pointed at me and said that is my son Timmy.  I then knew about where she what age she perceived herself in her mind.

What a wonderful experience”



What if I can’t stay at home?


What happens if I cannot stay at home due to my increasing care need and require a different place to stay during my final phase of life?

A growing number of hospice programs have their own hospice facilities or have arrangements with freestanding hospice houses, hospitals or inpatient residential centers to care for patients who cannot stay where they usually live.  These patients may require a different place to live during this phase of their life when they need extra care.  However, care in these settings is not covered under the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit.  It is best to find out, well before hospice may be needed, if insurance or any other payer covers this type of care or if patients/families will be responsible for payment.

At Hospice of Southwest Ohio we offer a variety of hospice care options based on your individual needs. From in-home or continuous care needs to Palliative Care services, you can be confident the team as Hospice of Southwest Ohio will take great care of your loved one.

Ready to get started? Click the Getting Started link in the upper right hand corner or learn more about our organization.



HSWO Fulfills Make a Memory Wish


On Tuesday February 14, 2017 Hospice of Southwest Ohio was honored through our Make a Memory Program to take Patrick Vaughn to American Country Music singer Travis Tritt’s Concert at the Sharonville Convention Center.

Through a conversation with Hospice of Southwest Ohio, Patrick and his family shared his deep love of country music.  Patrick suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and resides at the Hospice of Southwest Ohio inpatient care center.

The Hospice of Southwest Ohio staff started thinking about Patrick’s upcoming 50th birthday and wanted to make it a special occasion.  There was no question that a country concert would be the best way to celebrate Patrick’s birthday.   David Walsh, CEO shared “we are honored to fulfill Patrick’s wishes as our staff started planning this meaningful event several weeks ago”.  When the staff shared the news with Patrick he said “not only was this his first live country music concert it was equally special because he had the opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day”.

The fulfillment of the Make a Memory program is not funded by any governmental agency.  The program relies on the generosity of private donations and the availability of in-kind goods and/or services.  Hospice of Southwest Ohio graciously acknowledges the support of RWA Concert and Event Promotion for donating 3 concert tickets and special seating to the event, Omni Medical Transposition for providing the medical transportation to the event, and Therapy Support for providing a specialized wheelchair to transport Patrick to the concert.  Patrick was accompanied to the concert by Hospice of Southwest Ohio staff members Susan Adkins, RN and JoAnn Powell, LPN to fulfill Patrick’s Make a Memory Wish.

Our Make a Memory program differentiates Hospice of Southwest Ohio from other hospice organizations.  Through conversations we ask our patients, “What is one thing that you would like to do?”  Nothing is off limits to consider when it comes to our patients.  We pull all of our resources and do our best to achieve the memory the patient desires.  We want to provide each patient with a memorable experience. Patrick’s Make a Memory has brought back many wonderful memories to him and the entire Hospice of Southwest Ohio Family.

Hospice of Southwest Ohio brings Joy to the End-of-Life, One Memory at a Time!

Click here to learn more about our Make a Memory program.



How can I be sure quality hospice care is provided?


How can I be sure that quality hospice care is provided?

Many hospices use tools to let them see how well they are doing in relation to quality hospice standards.  In addition, most programs use family satisfaction surveys to get feedback on the performance of their programs.  To help hospice programs in making sure they give quality care and service, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has developed recommended standards entitled ‘Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs’ as one way of ensuring quality.

There are also voluntary accreditation organizations that evaluate hospice programs to protect consumers.  These organizations survey hospices to see whether they are providing care that meets defined quality standards.  These reviews consider the customary practices of the hospice, such as policies and procedures, medical records, personal records, evaluation studies, and in many cases also include visits to patients and families currently under care of that hospice program.  A hospice program may volunteer to obtain accreditation from one of these organizations.

At Hospice of Southwest Ohio we offer a variety of hospice care options based on your individual needs. From in-home or continuous care needs to Palliative Care services, you can be confident the team as Hospice of Southwest Ohio will take great care of your loved one.

Ready to get started? Click the Getting Started link in the upper right hand corner or learn more about our organization.



Can I be cared for by hospice somewhere else?


Can I be cared for by hospice if I reside in a nursing facility or other type of long-term care facility?

Hospice services can be provided to a terminally ill person wherever they live.  This means a patient living in a nursing facility or long-term care facility can receive specialized visits from hospice nurses, home health aides, chaplains, social workers, and volunteers, in addition to other care and services provided by the nursing facility.  The hospice and the nursing home will have a written agreement in place in order for the hospice to serve residents of the facility.

At Hospice of Southwest Ohio we offer a variety of hospice care options based on your individual needs. From in-home or continuous care needs to Palliative Care services, you can be confident the team as Hospice of Southwest Ohio will take great care of your loved one.

Ready to get started? Click the Getting Started link in the upper right hand corner or learn more about our organization.



What role does a hospice volunteer serve?


What role does the hospice volunteer serve?
Hospice volunteers are generally available to provide different types of support to patients and their loved ones including running errands, preparing light meals, staying with a patient to give family members a break, and lending emotional support and companionship to patients and family members.

Because hospice volunteers spend time in patients’ and families’ homes, each hospice program generally has an application and interview process to assure the person is right for this type of volunteer work.  In addition, hospice programs have an organized training program for their patient care volunteers.  Areas covered by these training programs often include understanding hospice, confidentiality, working with families, listening skills, signs and symptoms of approaching death, loss and grief and bereavement support.

We are so thankful the many volunteers who spend their time with those we care for! If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with our organization, visit our Volunteer Page to learn how you can get involved.

we offer a variety of hospice care options based on your individual needs. From in-home or continuous care needs to Palliative Care services, you can be confident the team as Hospice of Southwest Ohio will take great care of your loved one.

Ready to get started? Click the Getting Started link in the upper right hand corner or learn more about our organization.



How does hospice keep the patient comfortable?


How does the hospice work to keep the patient comfortable?
Many patients may have pain and other serious symptoms as illness progresses. Our Hospice staff receive special training to care for all types of physical and emotional symptoms that cause pain, discomfort and distress.  Because keeping the patient comfortable and pain-free is an important part of hospice care, many hospice programs have developed ways to measure how comfortable the patient is during the course of their stay in hospice.  Hospice staff works with the patient’s physician to make sure that medication, therapies, and procedures are designed to achieve the goals outlined in the patient’s care plan.  The care plan is reviewed frequently to make sure any changes and new goals are in the plan.

At Hospice of Southwest Ohio we offer a variety of hospice care options based on your individual needs. From in-home or continuous care needs to Palliative Care services, you can be confident the team as Hospice of Southwest Ohio will take great care of your loved one.

Ready to get started? Click the Getting Started link in the upper right hand corner or learn more about our organization.



Will I be the only patient served?


Will I be the only hospice patient that the hospice staff serves?
Every hospice patient has access to a hospice volunteer, registered nurse, social worker, home health aide, and chaplain (also known as the interdisciplinary team).  For each patient and family, the interdisciplinary team writes a care plan with the patient/family that is used to make sure the patient and family receive the care they need from the team.  Typically, full-time registered nurses provide care to about a dozen different families.  Social workers usually work with about twice the number of patients/families as nurses.  If needed, home health aides, who provide personal care to the patient, will visit most frequently.

All visits, however, are based on the patient and family needs as described in the care plan and the condition of the patient during the course of illness.  The frequency of volunteers and spiritual care is often dependent upon the family request and the availability of these services.  Travel requirements and other factors may cause some variation in how many patients each hospice staff serves.

Click here to learn more about the HSWO team focused on serving our patients and their families.



How Does Hospice Care Begin?


How does hospice care begin?
Typically, hospice care starts as soon as a formal request or a ‘referral’ that is made by the patient’s doctor.  Often a hospice program representative from HSWO will make an effort to visit the patient within 48 hours of that referral, providing the visit meets the needs and schedule of the patient and family/primary caregiver.  Usually, hospice care is ready to begin within a day or two of the referral.  However, in urgent situations, hospice services may begin sooner.

At Hospice of Southwest Ohio we offer a variety of hospice care options based on your individual needs. From in-home or continuous care needs to Palliative Care services, you can be confident the team as Hospice of Southwest Ohio will take great care of your loved one.

Ready to get started? Click the Getting Started link in the upper right hand corner or learn more about our organization.



A Christmas Message


To our valued staff, volunteers, friends and partners ~~
Another year has swiftly passed and this brings us to the brink of a new
year – a year that will bring significant challenges, to which we will, no
doubt, rise above. This year has shown that despite the enormity of the
challenges facing us as part of the health care reform, we are resilient
and will remain so.

During this special season, the lives of millions of Americans will be
filled with the spirit of giving, the importance of family and friends, and
a sense of healing, renewal and new opportunity. That spirit lives year-round
in every kind of community in every corner of the country.

The holiday season takes on added meaning for all Americans, and none
more than the men and women who serve in the Military. We know that
holidays are especially tough for their families. Please hold these
families in your thoughts and prayers.

To our loyal friends and partners, a big THANK YOU for contributing
to our accomplishments during 2016. We look forward to continuing and
developing our relationship with you in 2017.

To the Hospice of Southwest Ohio and CareBridge Palliative Care teams,
thank you for being part of this dynamic organization, you are the
BEST!!! Fortunately, our caregivers possess the skills, care and
compassion that make up for more than the challenges ahead. For that,
all of us can be truly thankful.

So, in keeping with the spirit of the season I reflect on the many gifts our
organization provides to our partners, families and the community
every day ~~ I express my pride and gratitude to those I work with …the
people who make the mission and values of Hospice of Southwest Ohio
and CareBridge Palliative Care a reality … I want to be sure to express
the same pride and gratitude to the communities we serve and our loyal
friends, volunteers and partners that sustains us in so many ways.
Along with my staff, I want to use this opportunity to wish you, your
families and staff a Blessed Festive Season and a prosperous New Year.
May these days be filled with joy, peace and hope for the New Year!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

david-walsh
David P. Walsh, CEO
Hospice of Southwest Ohio &
CareBridge Palliative Care
7625 Camargo Road
Cincinnati, OH 45243
(513) 770-0820



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