Hospice and Palliative Care Facts

 

Did you know…?

  1. Hospice focuses on quality of life and helping patients and families meet the goals that are uniquely important to them.  Sometimes that goal is to be present for the birth of a grandchild, a special birthday or anniversary, or simply having symptoms managed so that visits from family and friends can be enjoyed. We know that every day is precious.
  2. Research shows that patients often live longer on hospice, with better quality of life, than patients with similar diagnoses that do not have hospice care.
  3. We offer bereavement services for a year after the death of a loved one.
  4. Hospice is provided by a team of specialists that include our physicians, nurse practitioner, nurses, licensed nurse’s aides, social workers, chaplain, volunteers and bereavement coordinator.
  5. Hospice takes care of patients wherever they live. We care for patients in the home, in assisted living facilities and nursing homes, group homes, apartment buildings, and in the hospital.
  6. Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans.
  7. The hospice team teaches family and other caregivers what to expect in your disease process, so that you are confident in the care of your loved one.
  8. Hospice provides a comfort kit of medications so that you can rest assured that we are prepared to keep your loved one comfortable with the increase of distressing symptoms.
  9. Your hospice teams keeps in contact with your primary care physician (or attending physician of your choice) and is a partners in managing your care.
  10. Hospice is for patients who have a six month or less to live prognosis if their medical condition takes its expected course. Often families tell us they wish they had been referred to hospice sooner, and that they thought hospice was only for the last few weeks or days of care.
  11. Our social workers can help you with advance directives, work on financial concerns, facilitate referrals to community assistance programs and help with meeting goals.
  12. Our nurses are experts in symptom management and in teaching you and your caregivers what you can expect as your illness progresses.
  13. Our chaplain provides non-denominational spiritual support and can review all of your life’s accomplishments.
  14. Our volunteers can stay with you or your loved one so you can run a few errands or take a break to recharge.
  15. Holding HandsWe have a hospice nurse available 24 hours per day, every single day, for questions or symptom concerns. We know that you care for your loved one 24 hours a day–so do we.
  16. Our licensed nursing assistants help with bathing, transferring, light meal preparation, wound care, companionship and more.
  17. You can call hospice and request an informational meeting to learn more about our services. You don’t need to wait for a doctor to make a referral to find out what your options are.
  18. We work closely with skilled nursing facilities and assisted livings to provide education about pain and symptom management.
  19. Hospice can provide medical equipment and supplies such as a hospital bed, walker, commode, oxygen and more to make sure you or your loved one will be more comfortable.
  20. Morphine is often prescribed in low doses to help with shortness of breath.  Shortness of breath is one of the most distressing and anxiety provoking symptom that we aggressively treat, so that our patients can continue to enjoy quality time with loved ones. Morphine does not hasten death, and many patients tell us they wish that hadn’t been so afraid of “that m word”.
  21. 25% of all deaths in the US are veterans.  Cornerstone VNA is involved in a program called “We Honor Veterans” to ensure that quality end of life care is provided to those that have served our country.
  22. Our patients tell us they choose to enroll in hospice because they know we will support their families through the grieving process. We offer Grief Support, as well as a special program to help you cope with your grief through the holidays.
  23. Our palliative care program can see patients with any serious illness and help manage symptoms and establish goals of care. Patients receiving palliative care are often still receiving treatments to cure or aggressively manage their disease and don’t need to have a limited life expectancy.  Patients need symptom management long before they are eligible for hospice care!—palliative care can help bridge that gap.
  24. Cornerstone VNA’s mission is to promote the optimum level of well-being, independence and dignity of those living in the community by providing trusted, compassionate and expert care. Our hospice team helps patients live every day to its fullest.
  25. The word “hospice” has its origin in medieval times, when it referred to a place of rest for the weary or ill traveler on a long journey.  You don’t have to take this journey alone.
  26. A referral for hospice can be made by a physician, a friend, a family member, a neighbor, or the patient. We are happy to come share information with you and your loved ones about hospice services whether you think now is the time or if you just want to plan for the future.
  27. There is a difference between Hospice and Palliative Care. Palliative Care is for the chronically ill and Hospice is for the terminally ill.
  28. A patient does not have to be homebound to receive Palliative Care. Palliative Care is provided wherever a patient lives: home, assisted living facility or nursing home.
  29. Palliative Care can be referred through our Home Care Program, or a physician, friend, a family member, a neighbor or the patient.
  30. Palliative Care is specialized care for people with a serious illness. Its focus is on providing patients relief from the pain and anxiety of a complex illness, regardless of the diagnosis. Patients receiving Palliative Care may also receive curative treatment for their disease.

 

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