There are many things about hospice care that set it apart from other types of health care. All services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when the hospice benefit is chosen. Those services include:
- All medicines, medical equipment, and supplies related to the hospice diagnosis
- Medication management to control pain and symptoms
- Physician services to manage medications
- Nursing and home health aide visits to provide direct care
- Social work, counseling, and chaplain services to provide support
- Volunteer services to provide companionship, meals, and support
- Bereavement services for a minimum of 13 months following a loss
In most cases, an interdisciplinary health care team manages hospice care. This means that many interacting disciplines work together to care for the patient. Doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy, therapists, and trained volunteers care for you and offer support bases to you and your family on their special areas of expertise. Together, they provide complete palliative (comfort) care aimed at relieving symptoms and giving social, emotional, and spiritual support.
Pain Management & Symptom Control
The spirit of Caring Hands Hospice is to encourage quality of life for patients and families, because of this abiding philosophy, pain and symptom control lie at the very heart of the Hospice program of care. Medical and pharmacological therapies control a range of debilities that, if untreated, diminish a patient’s strength, will, and even human dignity.
Our professional expertise and an individualized care plan make possible a control of pain rarely achieved in other health care settings. Nowhere is this more evident than in the work of the hospice physician, nurse, and pharmacist. The physician, nurse, and pharmacist are important team members in evaluating pain and treating it pharmacologically. Social workers, clergy, nurses, and professional and lay volunteers work with psychological and spiritual pain. As a team, they review the patient’s status daily. In addition, consultants in several fields of health care compliment the efforts of the medical and nursing staffs.
In the Hospice program, the family’s physician acts as the primary physician. Caring Hands Hospice has a physician that acts as a Medical Director to review each Hospice patient’s case and confers with the family’s physician.
Medications are administered on a regular schedule, to eliminate not only pain, but also the fear of pain. Ease of administering is a key consideration also. Patients are spared injections whenever possible to make their lives more comfortable. Over 90 percent of the medications at Caring Hands Hospice are taken orally. Because of this, it is often possible for patients to be cared for at home.
The goal of pain and symptom control is to help you to achieve comfort while allowing you to stay in control of your life. This means that side effects are managed to make sure that you are as free of pain and symptoms as possible, yet still alert enough to make important decisions.