When it's Time for Hospice
Hospice and Palliative Care
Hospice can be thought of as a specific type of palliative care appropriate for those who have a life expectancy of less than six months. The primary goal of hospice care is to promote comfort, including alleviation of pain and other distressing symptoms. Palliate care can assist with life-limiting conditions, while the patient continues active treatment to combat that illness. Like hospice, palliative care can include pain management, help with understanding care options towards the end of life, help at home, and emotional support for patients and for loved ones.
Hospice Services Include:
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A registered nurse continually evaluates a patient's needs, and works closely with them and their family to determine the best ways to meet these needs. Services include:
- Health assessments/Palliative care
- Catheter insertion
- Wound and skin care
- Ostomy care
- Pain control/management
- Teaching care management through proper use of diet, medications and comfort measures
- Educating the patient and their family on the disease or disability to better help them meet their needs and cope with the illness
The hospice nursing assistant provides support with personal care needs as appropriate to each individual patient. Nursing assistants, under the guidance of a registered nurse, assist with the patient's personal care needs, such as bathing, exercising and walking.
Medical Social Services
Hospice social workers assist in evaluating social and emotional factors that affect a patient's health. Services include:
- Arranging services and assistance to meet the financial and social problems related to the illness
- Advocating for the patient and caretaker to have as much control as possible over the patient's life and the choices that are made about their care
- Counseling the patient and their family
Our hospice chaplain assists the patient and their family in their spiritual needs. Services include:
- Visiting the patient and their family as often as needed upon request
- Coordinating contact with the patient's and/or family's pastor, upon request
Bereavement Support Services
A bereavement coordinator arranges contact and support for the family for one year following the death of a loved one. Services include:
- Individual and family counseling
- Support to the bereaved family members
- Coordinating referrals for persons with a complicated grief reaction
- Adult bereavement support group
Volunteers are an integral part of the hospice program. Each volunteer is specially trained in the hospice philosophy, goals and areas of care that are consistent with the tasks they perform. Services include:
- Reading to patients
- Visiting patients
- Running errands
- Spiritual support
- Respite care
- Office tasks
Additional services are available to patients to enhance their quality of life and quality of care while in hospice. Services include:
- Certified wound/ostomy/continence nurses are available for consultation on wound, skin and ostomy care.
- Physical, occupational and speech therapy services are available for symptom control and to enable the patient to continue to perform activities of daily living and basic functional skills.
- A registered dietitian is available to perform nutritional assessments and counseling for special problems or dietary requirements.
- A pharmacist is available to assist the nurse in providing information on the patient's medication regime and to follow the status of symptom and pain control.
- Hospice provides medications related to the terminal illness, including pain control and medication for symptom relief.
- The patient and their caretaker are informed of any medication not covered by hospice during their admission appointment.
- Hospice provides all medical supplies that are necessary for medical treatment, including syringes, catheters, wound dressings, linen savers or diapers.
- Other supplies that are provided as needed are wheelchairs, oxygen, bedside commode chairs, hospital beds and nebulizers.
Hospice Volunteer Application
If you are interested in volunteering, please submit an application below. For questions, please call the Asbury Hospice House at 601-288-2500.