Do you have questions about hospice?

Do you have questions about hospice?

Linn County LIVING WELL Magazine

Hospice care addresses needs and opportunities during the last phase of life by bringing together the individual and family, trained caregivers and clinical professionals into the care giving team.  This interdisciplinary approach to care focuses on physical symptoms and emotional and spiritual concerns of the patient and family.

Often, people have questions and wonder, “What is next?” Experienced hospice staff can answer your questions and discuss state-of-the-art approaches for comfort and ways your loved one can get the very most of their days ahead.

There is no “typical” patient at the end of life. Each person’s care needs to be uniquely tailored.  It is common for patients to have concerns of becoming a burden to others, loss of dignity, finding meaning in their lives, and experiencing spiritual matters. Care Initiatives Hospice recognizes not only the physical component of dying, but offers assistance with psychosocial aspects as well.

Over 700,000 Americans are cared for by hospice annually. However, hospice remains widely misunderstood and under-utilized. A National Hospice Foundation survey shows that 90% of Americans don’t realize that Medicare pays for hospice care, and 75% don’t realize that hospice care can be provided at home. Yet, the results from the same national research show that Americans want the kind of end-of-life care hospice provides.

Hospice care enhances comfort and promotes the quality of life for individuals and their families when cure is no longer likely. Care Initiatives Hospice also recognizes that peace and comfort in the closing months of life are essential goals of health care. Living during this process is an integral part of the life cycle.

The hospice team consists of several members with the common goal: as much quality of life as possible for the hospice patient and their family. The hospice team consists of:

Registered Nurse Case Manager: Assesses symptoms and closely works with the patient and family to develop goals to manage symptoms. This team member communicates often with your attending physician and provides information on use of medications. The nurse helps you understand what to expect next and actions that might help along the way. Nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week .

Social worker: Available to help the patient and family explore “why” – and consider other planning aspects at this time of life. The social worker assists in understanding a variety of normal feelings while defining “family” in any way the patient designates. Family meeting coordination or community recourse information is often identified. Resources for living wills or other advanced planning are always available.

Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counselor: Assists as desired by the patient and family with contact and coordination of communication with the patient and family’s personal spiritual care provider. The counselor provides direct support as desired to help find peace in belief systems.  This team member works closely with family to discuss anticipated loss and healthy grieving strategies as desired.

Hospice Aide: Available to provide assistance with bathing, shaving, dressing, hair care, nail hygiene and other activities of living with quality and dignity.

Other team members include a medical director, volunteers and various therapists and counselors as directed and/or desired by the patient and family.

Hospice care is provided wherever the patient calls home: the patient’s home, a family member’s home, a nursing facility, an assisted living facility or a hospital.

Taking just a little time to become acquainted with a Care Initiatives Hospice team member allows you to ask any questions you may have, and to have a resource when needed.

Care Initiatives Hospice provides a physician-directed, nurse coordinated, interdisciplinary team approach to personal care with value-added services. Located at 3720 Queen Ct., SW, Suite 9, in Cedar Rapids, please contact us with your questions or for a brochure: 319-390-4161. You may also go to CareInitiatives for more information.