The Hospice Philosophy
Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient’s loved ones as well. At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.
A person might be ready for hospice when they no longer receive aggressive medical treatment for a condition that is determined by a physician to be life-limiting. Life-limiting illness is defined by a physician determined 6 month or less prognosis of life. In collaboration with the Covenant Hospice caregiving team, the focus of care then changes from curative care to comfort care and symptom management. Most Covenant Hospice patients receive care in the comfort of their own home.
Advantages of Hospice Care
- Hospice treats the person, not the disease. It focuses on the family, not just the individual. Hospice emphasizes the quality, not the duration, of life.
- Hospice care allows terminally ill patients and their families to remain together in the comfort of home, promoting peace and dignity.
- Hospice uses an interdisciplinary approach, combining the knowledge and skills of a team of professionals.
- Hospice provides a comprehensive continuum of services.
- Hospice care has proven to be a cost-effective alternative to hospitals and nursing homes, since the majority of hospice services are delivered in the home.
The Hospice Team
Covenant Hospice uses an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals and volunteers to address physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Hospice recognizes the patient and family as the unit of care. The hospice team works with he patient/family to establish and coordinate an individualized plan of care.
Our hospice team includes:
- Primary Physician
- Hospice Medical Director
- Registered Nurses
- Certified Nursing Assistants
- Social Workers
- Specially Trained Volunteers
Unlike curative or aggressive care, Hospice care stresses relief of pain and uncomfortable symptoms. Services covered and provided by hospice help manage the terminal illness. These services can be provided in the home, which is defined as where the patient resides. Here are some of the services provided by hospice:
- Skilled and Supportive Nursing Care
- Personal Care
- Medical Social Services
- Volunteer Support
- Spiritual Support
- Patient and Family Counseling
- Bereavement Support
- Respite Care
- Pain and Symptom Management
- Medical Equipment and Supplies
- Rehabilitation Services
We Honor Veterans is a national awareness and action campaign that was developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that encourages partnerships between community hospices, state hospice organizations and VA facilities. Through staff and volunteer education, organizational policies, and hospice-veteran partnerships with local and regional VA facilities, the goal is to improve awareness and appreciation for the sacrifices our Veterans have made and to improved their end-of-life care.
Advantages of Hospice Care for the Family
While the patient is receiving care, Covenant Hospice staff will educate the family on how best to support their loved one during the final stage of life. Family members can be trained in personal care as well as medication and symptom management. The hospice staff will also prepare the family for what to expect during the dying process. Covenant Hospice staff members are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support the patient and the family.
After the death of the patient, the hospice staff will provide 13 months of bereavement support. Through that 13-month time period, support can be given through telephone calls, visits from hospice staff and volunteers, supportive mailings and grief support groups.
Hospice Levels of Care
Routine Care: Intermittent care provided in the patient’s home based on needs.
Continuous Care: Provided during times of crisis in an attempt to maintain the patient at home. The hospice must provide a minimum of eight (8) hours of care during a twenty-four (24) hour day beginning/ending at midnight. Hours of care do not need to be consecutive. An RN/LPN must provide more than half of the care.
Respite Care: Designed to provide a period of rest for the caregiver. This is provided out of the home in five-day increments. Respite care may be provided at a contracted hospital, nursing home, or a residential hospice facility.
General Inpatient: When the patient’s symptoms cannot be successfully managed at home, general inpatient care becomes necessary. This service will be a short stay at a contracted hospital, nursing home, or residential hospice facility. Treatment must conform to the patient’s plan of care. When control of symptoms is achieved, the patient will return home with his or her primary caregiver.