THE HOSPICE TEAM
"The role of a caregiver might be compared to a candle. A candle can help illuminate an experience, provide a path in the darkness and give courage to explore. The light can accompany individuals as they negotiate a sometimes scary and treacherous path. The journey may still be dark, but the light can make it less terrifying."
- Doka (1993)
A Hospice registered nurse admits a patient into Hospice Services. A primary nurse will be assigned following the first home visit. A primary nurse will coordinate your loved one's care, along with other nurses participating in the care of your loved one, family and/or significant other, the patient's physician, and the Hospice Team.
The Hospice Nurses are the team members with whom you will probably have the most contact. They are all knowledgeable and caring people.
Some practical areas of involvement may include:
Initiating your loved one's plan of care.
Monitoring your loved one's changing condition, especially in pain management, and reporting changes to the physician.
Teaching the family about the disease process and what to expect.
Coordinating care with the other Hospice Team members.
Supervising home health aides when assistance is needed for personal care.
HOME HEALTH AIDE
Hospice home health aides are skilled at assisting with personal care activities. They are trained aides and have been educated in the Hospice philosophy of care.
Some potential areas of involvement may include:
Bathing, shampooing and shaving.
Assisting with mouth care.
Providing skin care.
Changing bed linens.
A Hospice Social Worker is a part of every Hospice Team and will meet with the patient and family to assist with non-medical, on-going needs and review necessary admission paperwork. The Social Worker is directly linked not only with your loved one, but with all of the family members. This effort is to maximize the quality of life for the patient and to assist families in dealing with change.
Some practical areas of involvement may include:
Assisting your loved one and family with the adjustments to changes.
Helping your loved one recognize their abilities, despite increased limitations.
Discussing ways for caregivers to care for themselves.
Utilizing community resources that provide helpful services not provided by Hospice.
Explaining alternative options if home care becomes overwhelming.
Resolving problems with insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Obtaining general legal information or providing referral for matters such as power of attorney, bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, death certificates, etc.
Assisting with drafting of advanced directives, health care power of attorney.
Available by arrangement. We will be happy to contact and coordinate with a clergy of your choice.
Some counselor areas of involvement may include:
Notification of your clergy of your involvement with Hospice services.
Help in finding clergy of a particular denomination, if the patient of family members so choose.
Identifying and resolving spiritual concerns affecting the patient and family.
Assistance in reflecting on the mysteries of life, suffering, death and afterlife.
Offering a caring presence in times of need or crisis.
Hospice Volunteers are a valuable resource to our patient/families. They come from diverse backgrounds and lifestyle situations. A common thread of caring and compassion unites them in their volunteers for Hospice. They are a help to us and our hospice families, and an important part of our care team.
Our Hospice Volunteers go through a training program specific to the job they are assigned during intermittent in-home visits. Hospice patient care volunteers are available to accomplish the following:
Stay with your loved one to relive the caregiver and provide companionship.
Provided needed transportation by special arrangement.
Read to, or write letters for your loved one.
Assist your loved one with personal hygiene.
Do small housekeeping chores.
Prepare and feed your loved one light meals.
Become a friend of your loved one and family.
Hospice Volunteers are available for in-home visits throughout the day and early evening hours. Families can receive volunteer services as available. Hospice attempts to fit family needs with our volunteers' available hours. Ideally, the same volunteer(s) will remain with the family for as long as your loved one and family require Hospice services.
HOSPICE MEDICAL DIRECTOR
The Hospice Medical Director is a physician who acts as a resource for the team's medical direction and questions. The Medical Director may act in a consulting role for a patient's primary care physician, or be the primary care physician when a patient and family request it. The Hospice Medical Director is a specialist that understands the unique medical needs in Hospice.
Family needs do not end with the death of your loved one. The time of bereavement that follows can be very difficult. Hospice wants to offer support as you adjust to a new life without the presence of the person you cared for and loved. Our personalized program can help ease the pain and promote the changes necessary to continue a meaningful life.
A Hospice Bereavement Counselor is specially trained to assess your bereavement needs and to assist you in understanding the grief process. The counselor is sensitive of your pain and realizes that in your grief you can experience a variety of feelings. Together you work toward inner healing.
We offer individual and/or family counseling; you may decide which is most comfortable for you.