Finding the Support You Need
By Sherry Little, Home Hospice of Grayson, Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine
Nearly everyone knows someone who’s struggled to cope with advanced, complex or complicated illness. Medical science has increased the likelihood that we will experience a long-term complicated or chronic illness during our later years, and this presents significant challenges to individuals, their families and the health care professionals who care for them.
Because of our belief that everyone deserves the very best outcomes at all stages of illness, Home Hospice initiated a program called Pathways to help people achieve the best possible outcomes, determine their own goals for their care, communicate with their physicians and other providers, discover resources that are available to them, and plan with their loved ones what their care might look like as needs increase. Pathways Palliative Care is a program of supportive services coordinated by JoCarolyn Chambers, LCSW, who works alongside Ron Van Buskirk, M.D, a palliative care certified physician, and Vickie Putman, RN. The program is funded by several organizations in our community that recognized the value to those who are navigating a very complicated healthcare system, seeking treatment for advanced illness and desiring increased ability to live independently while receiving the optimum care.
Some of the support provided by the Pathways staff includes:
- Help to understand complicated medical circumstances
- Help with consideration of options and thinking through difficult decisions
- Help to improve symptoms including physical pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and more
- Help to decrease emotional pain, depression and anxiety
- Help in coping with transitions through stages of illness
- Help for identifying goals for care and planning for the future
- Help in making your wishes known, understood and honored
The Pathways team will communicate with your physician while providing these supportive services and consultations to you and your family––in your home, care facility or hospital. Together you and your team will work to meet your physical, spiritual and emotional goals.
For more information on Pathways Palliative Care, visit www.homehospice.org/pathways-palliative-care-program. As with all services provided by Home Hospice, Pathways is provided to all regardless of ability to pay. To schedule a Pathways consult or for more information, call 903-820-9753.