Hospice & Palliative Care

Hospice:

Hospice is not a place. It’s a philosophy of End of Life Care.

The focus is on comfort, dignity and quality of life. Not on cure.

  • Hospice care is offered in 5 locations:
  1. In private homes
  2. Hospitals
  3. Skilled Nursing Facilities (Nursing Homes)
  4. Assisted Living Facilities
  5. Stand alone hospice residences
  • It’s a model for providing palliative care where the goal is for you to have the deepest meaning and sense of completion possible during your last chapter.     What legacy will you leave when your story ends?
  • Hospice uses an interdisciplinary team approach using these health professionals specially trained in Hospice:
  1. Medical doctor (MD)
  2. Registered Nurse (RN)
  3. Social Worker (SW)
  4. Chaplain
  5. Hospice Aide (HA)
  6. Volunteers
  7. Music Therapy (MT)
  8. And others as needed.
  • On Call Services

There is an on-call Hospice RN available 24/7. This is often misunderstood as hospice providing an RN at the bedside 24/7.

An on-call Hospice RN is available to make a visit if needed 24/7 but, for hospice at home, families provide much of the day to day care.

If needed, private agencies are hired by families to supplement the care. Most patients do not need this extraordinary level of care.

A little known fact: Some patients “graduate” from Hospice. That’s right. Some patients improve so much with all the care provided by Hospice that they are no longer Hospice eligible under the Medicare guidelines. And they are discharged.

Palliative Care

  • To palliate means to lessen or relieve suffering
  • Palliative care is an approach to treatment that takes place from diagnosis of a life threatening illness to end of life.
  • Focus is still on comfort care but some cure focused treatments are covered by Medicare
  • In 2006, Hospice and Palliative Care  received formal accreditation status as a subspecialty for MDs
  • As a hospice nurse, I practice palliative care.

Another little known fact: Medicare and Medicaid provide a Hospice benefit that will pay for Hospice services and Hospice related equipment and medication. All Hospice patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid are entitled to this benefit.