A chaplain at a New York hospital has designed a board that lets the critically ill communicate their spiritual pain and needs.
1 min read
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to medical care for people with both acute and chronic serious illness. Patients may have physical, psychological, social, or spiritual issues because of their disease or treatment. Palliative care serves to lessen pain, control symptoms and improve stress for the both the patient and family. Ultimately, the goal is improving quality of life, assisting with medical decisions and more importantly navigating the healthcare system.
9 min read
A 90-year-old woman has opted out of cancer treatment to spend her remaining days on a once-in-a-lifetime road-trip with her family. The woman’s name is Norma and she is from Northern Michigan. Just two days after loosing her husband Leo, she found out she had uterine cancer. When her doctor explained that they could operate on the tumor and then put her through radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Norma politely declined. Instead of treatment, Norma decided to spend her last days on the road with her son, Tim, and his wife, Ramie in an RV. Ramie says she hopes the story will encourage other families to discuss end-of-life options.
2 min read
Being a caregiver to your loved one is a vital aspect to their well-being, but it can be exhausting, overwhelming, and sometimes thankless. Your loved one may lash out at you and make it difficult by refusing to comply with what needs to be done. Your loved one may see you as the person who has taken away his or her freedom and life choices. Most people do not give up making their own decisions easily. But there are things you can do to keep a positive perspective and lower your stress level.
3 min read
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.
1 min read
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.
1 min read
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.
1 min read
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.
1 min read
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.
1 min read
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.