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Hospice

Hospice: Affirms life, but never denies death.  Recognizes dying as a normal process of life.  Honors wishes.  Offers choices.  Brings commitment and compassion.  Strengthens families.  Is about faith, hope and caring.

 

 
 
Hospice of Henry County
Hospice : Itís about how you live.
a division of
Henry County Home Health Agency
& The Henry County Health Department
 
 
Spring Newsletter 2013
Why Hospice Care Exists
What is Hospice
How Hospice Care Works

Choosing a Hospice

Hospice Eligibility
Palliative Care

Why Choose Us

Volunteers and Volunteering

Speakers Bureau
Contact us

Advanced Directive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Hospice of Henry County

We are here to help you in any way we can.  Our highly experienced staff is dedicated to providing the most compassionate and the highest quality hospice care for your loved one and you.

Each of our staff members shares a passionate belief in the hospice concept and the benefits it provides to our clients.  Each staff member has been intimately involved with hospice care for many years.  Each has been privileged to share first hand the unique lessons, life experiences and gifts that hospice brings to its patients and their families.

Please review our information as we share the subjects in more detail as you learn more about the hospice philosophy of care, and how hospice can help you in your situation.  If you do not find the answer to your question or you would like to talk with us, please contact us at (419) 599-5612.  We will make ourselves available to you at a time and place that is convenient to you.  We will answer any questions you may have about hospice care or palliative care without any obligation.

 

Why Hospice Care Exists

You matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of life,

And we will do all we can, Not only to help you die peacefully,

But also to live until you dieĒ -- Dame Cicely Saunders, Founder of the Hospice Concept

Hospice is not a place, but rather a way of caring that brings comfort to people at the end of life.  Hospice provides patients and their loved ones the assurance that they will be attended with love and care when they need it most.

 

What is Hospice

Historically, hospice is a concept rooted in the centuries-old idea of offering a place of shelter and rest, or ďhospitality, to weary and sick travelers who were on long or difficult journeys.  Hospice became widespread in medieval Europe with over 750 such institutions in existence in England by the 13th century.

Dame Cicely Saunders founded the first modern hospice in London in 1967.  She was the first person to apply the term ďhospiceĒ to specialized care provided for the terminally ill patients.

Today, hospice is the term used for an approach to healthcare that is specifically designed to support the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who have life-limiting illnesses or conditions.  Hospice care provides compassionate care and support for those in the last stage of life so they may live their lives as fully and comfortably as possible.

Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a normal process.  It neither hastens nor postpones death.  The goal of hospice is to provide a process to minimize discomfort and to maintain patient dignity and quality of life to the end.

Hospice is a concept of care, not a specific place of care.  With in this concept, the primary location for hospice care is normally the home setting since the person feels the greatest security and comfort in their own familiar environment.  However, hospice care can also be provided in any location where the individual may reside, such as a residential care home, nursing home, assisted living or other long-term care facilities. 

Hospice provides a physician-directed, nurse-coordinated, interdisciplinary team approach to to personal care.  The team, which also includes a social worker, chaplain and home health aide, provides personalized training and counseling with a caring, compassionate approach.  Hospice emphasizes palliative care (relief of pain and uncomfortable symptoms) rather then curative treatment and quality of life.

Daily primary care is provided by family members or loved ones.  The hospice teams are available 24 hours day, seven days a week to provide support, counseling and hands on care when needed.

 

How Hospice Care Works

When a patient with a life-limiting illness or condition decides that curative measures are no longer appropriate, effective or desirable, hospice care becomes a compassionate, dignified and beneficial option.

When possible, the individual receives care in his or her own home.  Family and friends function as the patientís primary caregivers.  In conjunction with the individualís primary physician and our medical director, Hospice of Henry County provides a specially trained, highly skilled and very experienced team of healthcare professionals to assist the patient, caregivers and family.  Each team member visits our patients on a regular basis and guides them, their caregivers and families through the process of the illness or condition.

The individualís primary physician continues in that function according to the wishes of the individual.  The primary physician continues to provide guidance and also coordinates with our medical director and hospice team on hospice care issues.

Our medical director, A Doctor of Internal Medicine collaborates with the hospice staff and is informed of all patientís current conditions by team members.  The medical director assists in the development of the patientís plan of care and approves changes in the plan of care.  The medical director is focused in palliative care for pain control and symptom control and psychological well-being.

Our registered nurses, acting as the patientís case manager, makes regularly scheduled, personal visits to the patient to provide expert pain management and symptom control care.  The nurses provide training to the caregivers so they can care for the patient properly and safely.  The physician and family are informed regarding the patientís condition.

Our social worker provides assistance with practical and financial concerns as well as emotional support, counseling and bereavement follow-up.  The need for volunteers and other support services needed by the family is evaluated.  Communication is facilitated between families, support services and community agencies.

Our chaplain provides a non-denominational spiritual support to patients and their families, often serving as a liaison between them and their religious community. 

Our trained volunteers offer support, companionship and practical caring help.  Volunteers can assist by sitting with the patient to provide the caregivers an opportunity to do errands or rest.  Volunteers assist patient and families in very similar ways a friend would reach out to others.

Our home health aides offer support by providing personal care and offering respite to the caregivers.

We also remain available to the family for bereavement support through individual appointments, group interactions, phone calls and mailing.  We will be with you as long as you need us.

 

Choosing a Hospice

You choose a hospice agency in the same manner and the same care you would choose any product or service that will have a major influence on your life or the life of a loved one.

First

q       Conduct careful and detailed research on the hospice agency.

q       Friends and associates can be valuable sources of information.  In many cases they have had personal experiences with hospice agencies or know others who have.  Your physician or your clergy will also have information on hospice.

q       Select a hospice agency that is licensed by the state and Medicare certified.  This means that the hospice has met standards of care.

Second

q       Talk with the care coordinator of the hospice.

q       Ask questions.

q       Explain your specific situation.

q       Ask what the response time will be if you have a need after office hours.

q       Ask about supplies or equipment that can be brought into the home.

Third

q       After you choose a hospice agency, it is important that you communicate the services that will help you the most.  Never hesitate to ask questions of any staff member or contact the agency when something is not clear or you have concerns.  Preferred hospices will always provide prompt, courteous answers to your questions.

Hospice Eligibility

Who is eligible for hospice care?

A common misconception about hospice is that it is a service provided only to cancer patients.  The fact is that we provide care to individuals with any end stage diagnosis. They may include, but are not limited to:

q       Cancer    

q       Heart Disease   

q       Kidney Disease   

q       Liver Disease

q       Lung Disease   

q       Stroke and /or CVA   

q       AIDS

q       Neurological Disease ( Alzheimerís, Parkinsonís, Dementia, et.)

q       ALS or Lou Gehrigís Disease   

q       Failure of Multiple Organ Systems

q       Failure to Thrive   

q       Senescence  (the physical and mental conditions associated with advanced age)

When does hospice care become appropriate?

Hospice care becomes appropriate when an individual has a life-limiting illness or condition.  The patientís primary physician and Hospice Medical Director will work together to make this medical determination.  The patient and family then determine whether the patient wishes to enter the hospice care program.

We have also prepared the following brief questionnaire that can help you determine whether hospice care is right for you or your loved one.

q       I have started feeling more tired and weak.

q       I experience shortness of breath.

q       I spend most of the day in bed or in a chair.

q       I have noticed an increased weight loss in the past six months.

q       I make frequent phone calls to my physician.

q       I take medications to lessen physical pain.

q       I have fallen several times in the last six months.

q       I have made trips to the emergency room in the past six months.

q       I need help from others with important daily activities (bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, walking, getting out of bed.)

q       My doctor has told me my life expectancy is limited.

If you have checked 3 or more items on the questionnaire, you may want to begin your research into hospice care by seeking the opinion and advice of your physician.

We will be happy to meet with you to talk about your individual situation.

 

Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

The World Health Organization has defined palliative care as: ďthe active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment."  "Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social and spiritual problems is paramount.  The goal of palliative care is the achievement of the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.Ē

Hospice palliative care is designed to support any other treatment the patients may receive by helping them live as comfortably as possible. It strives to help patients, caregivers and families manage the challenges they face during hospice care.  All aspects of care are provided in a manner that is sensitive to the patientís personal, cultural, and religious values including his/her beliefs and practices and preparedness to deal with the dying process.

When is palliative care needed?

Palliative care can help a patient at any stage of a life-limiting illness or condition.  A patient may desire palliative care and support if he or she:

q       Is experiencing symptoms that are hard to treat such as pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety.

q       Needs help understanding treatment choices.

q       Wants support when making difficult medical decisions.

Palliative care has a number of benefits:

q       Vigorous treatment of pain, symptoms such as nausea and fatigue, depression throughout the illness.

q       Keeping patients as comfortable and active as possible so they can pursue meaningful activities in the manner they desire.

q       Emotional support for the patient, caregiver and family when needed.

The hospice team develops a plan of care that the patient wishes are carried out via palliative care.

 

Why Choose Us

Hospice of Henry County isnít the only choice for families seeking hospice services.  There are a number of fine organizations offering this type of care.  However, we believe that we offer a number of unique benefits to our patients, their caregivers and families.

So, what makes us different? We offer these thoughts for your consideration.

Community

We are a local hospice that was established in 1978 for the residents of Henry County by the Henry County Health Department.  We are committed to serve all residents in the community.

Focus

We are focused on making the wishes of our patients our priority.  Quality of life is an expertise that is at the heart of every member of the hospice team.

Stability

Hospice of Henry County is a team of professionals who are passionate believers in the hospice concept. The caring professionals of the team are committed to the program and patients and develop relationships within the community. 

Experience and Expertise

Our medical director is a Doctor of Internal Medicine who has over 15 years of experience in hospice.  Our manger of the hospice program has 15 years of hospice experience.  Our patient care coordinator has 11 years experience as a hospice case manager and is certified in hospice and palliative care.

Intimacy

Hospice of Henry County strives to provide high levels of personal care and services.  In most cases the same staff member follows the patient and family during the course of the hospice care and develops a unique relationship with them. Our patients get more attention, better care and thus a better chance at a higher quality of life.

The true value of our services is determined by our ability to provide:

q       Compassion, comfort and support to our patients their caregivers and their families

q       An environment that recognizes and supports the rights of the patients

q       An environment that promotes the patientís ability to lived life fully with the highest quality of life

q       Professionalism, integrity and excellence in all aspects

 

Volunteers and Volunteering

Are you interested in becoming a hospice volunteer?

Please contact us at (419) 599-5612 or e-mail hospice@henrycohd.org

Volunteers are a valuable component to the program of Hospice of Henry County.  They provide both practical assistance and compassionate care to our patients and family members.  Hospice volunteers demonstrate a deep commitment to the hospice concept and their desire to help others.

Volunteers may lend their time and talents in two different capacities. 

1.       Patient/family Assistance

2.       Non patient assistance / hospice auxiliary

A volunteer interested in providing direct patient assistance is asked to complete a training class.  Volunteers may provide family assistance by:

q       Sitting with a patient

q       Doing errands for patient and caregivers

q       Providing a meal for the family

q       Handyman / women duties around the house

This group of volunteers supports hospice patients and their families by providing support through projects that enable funds to be available to support the needs of the patients.  The project of providing a prayer quilt to every patient and their family is carried out by this group of volunteers.

For more information on the role of hospice volunteers call (419) 599-5612.

 

Hospice of Henry County Speakers Bureau

Hospice is committed to educating the community about end of life care.   Our Speakers Bureau offers a variety of topics for local community groups wanting to learn more about end for life care issues, hospice and palliative care.  Most speakers will be incorporating in their presentations their own personal experience with hospice and how it touched their lives.  Presentations last from 10 to 30 minutes and usually include a question and answer session for those who may wish to have more information or share personal experiences.

Groups include, but are not limited to church organizations, civic clubs, retirement groups, employee organizations of families and friends interested in hospice care.  To schedule a presentation contact us at (419) 599-5612.

There is no charge for our presentations.

 

Contact us

 

Advanced Directive

Many decisions have to be made about medical care when a person becomes ill or is unable to communicate their wishes.  Planning ahead and discussing your desires with your family is important because you may no be able to make decisions yourself if you are incapacitated in some way.  To document your wishes a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care are documents to give notice of your health care wishes.

A living will is a document that states what limits you would like to place on the treatment you would receive at the end of life.  A durable power of attorney is a document that states the person you have chosen to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.  When deciding what choices are best for you, you should first talk with your family physician about your concerns.

The following sites have additional information and advance directives forms available for download:  www.aha.org |  www.ohpco.org  | www.ohpco.org/living_will.htm

 
 

 

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