What is Hospice Care?

Hospice is care provided for patients who have terminal illnesses and a life expectancy of six months or less.  At Hospice Assist, we mainly focus on the patient’s quality of life and manage the symptoms of the disease. Any patient who has decided to discontinue treatment for their condition is welcome to Hospice Assist care.

The primary purpose of our program is to make a patient feel as comfortable as possible by improving symptoms and pain management of the prevalent disease. Also, we offer full support provision, both spiritually and emotionally, for the patients and their families during the final months of their life.

Hospice Assist Care Programs and Services

  • Our hospice services have a team of professionals capable of performing various activities needed for the specific needs of patients, including their families. The Hospice Assist team evaluates, discusses, and addresses all the ultimate needs of patients' before they die. 
  • Our team also has professional skills to provide guidance, encouragement, comfort, and support before and after the death of a patient.
  • Our team is fully committed to providing patients and their families’ appropriate help immediately. It means giving hospice services and patient care as expected, such as administering drugs, light housekeeping, and legal documentation. It’s a bonus that the Hospice Assist program care provides unique services unavailable in standard hospice centers around you.
  • Our Hospice Assist offers professional medical services, spiritual care, home health aides, expressive therapies, social services, bereavement counseling, and help with legal and other relevant issues. 
  • We also have provision for essential equipment, medical prescription, and supplies to manage symptoms of a patient’s illness. We perform full patient evaluations before proceeding with our programs.
  • We offer families grief recovery through our comprehensive bereavement support and counseling sessions to help them through the grieving process.
  • For our services and programs to be successful, we have highly trained interdisciplinary teams who have various responsibilities to accomplish in hospice care.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Hospice Assist Care Team

Each of our team members has different disciplines to ensure the patient’s satisfaction while assessing and giving feedback to the required care plan.
The following are specific roles of what each member in the Hospice Assist team does.

The Hospice Physicians 

The physician monitors urgent medical requests and develops the right care plan to ensure balance in medical decision making. They also provide hospice information and ensure that every interdisciplinary member team, caregivers, and the patient's family know how the hospice works.

A physician also oversees and carefully monitors the advancement of the patient's sickness. A physician can prescribe appropriate drugs and treatments and instruct the hospice team ways of handling every patient according to their needs

Our physicians also ensure that every problem protocol associated with a patient’s care program is working at the top quality standards.

Medical Director

The medical director supervises instructions of patient care and support to all the hospice care team. The director participates in a team conference to discuss the care plans by helping to establish goals and contributing significant decisions about patient care.

The Hospice Nurses 

The hospice nurses coordinate the care plan together with the physician and medical director through initial and continuous nursing evaluations. The nurse attends to a patient for specific days every week when necessary to manage all the distressing symptoms that meet the unique needs of the patient and family members.

The Hospice Social Workers 

Our social workers have the appropriate training about psychosocial assessments and community resources to deal with the terminal illnesses problems while giving the patients and family quality community care. They can also provide counseling to patients or their families in case of a severe crisis.

Our social workers may agree to stay with the patients from the beginning to the end of the hospice program. They may also comfort some of the burdens their families experience and cope with the daily particulars of the patients' medical care.

The Hospice Home Health Aides 

The main work of home health aides is to provide personal care needs and light housekeeping, such as household responsibilities, hygiene, and nourishment. They usually work one to three days per week or depending on the agreement.

They interact with patients during patients’ visits and perform home duties, which leads to the development of perfect relationships with each other.

Also, the home health aides may train engaged caregivers or family members about home professional care in difficult times so that patients’ families feel comfortable always. 

The Hospice Chaplain/Spiritual Counselors 

The chaplain’s work is to inspire, encourage, and give spiritual care inspiration to help patients and their families be in peace as they undergo emotional end-of-life issues.

Alternatively, spiritual counselors work together with the patient's priests to provide patients and their families with mental and emotional support, along with the priests.

Chaplains may visit patients in their homes, hospitals, or whenever they are receiving hospice care to accomplish their responsibilities.

Their duties can include spiritual assessments while considering patients' physical, mental, and emotional stresses and then respond with the best support and care.

The care offered by a chaplain can deal with ethical issues with more focus on spiritual matters than religious affairs.

The Hospice Volunteers 

They provide general services and companionship to patients and help their families or caregivers in many ways, such as running errands and any other duties assigned to them. Without volunteers, the scope of services urgently required to improve the quality of the lives of patients and their families will not be efficient.
Additional responsibilities include:
  • Identifying a patient’s needs and providing assistance
  • Offering shopping, cooking meals, minor household activities, etc.
  • Creating a comfortable environment for the patients
  • Reminding patients of their medical prescriptions but not administering medications

The Bereavement Counselor

Our bereavement counselor helps patients cope with the grief linked with deteriorating health and lead the family through bereavement before and after the loss of a loved one.

The death of a loved one is usually the most painful and shocking experience in one's life. The bereavement counselor is knowledgeable of the emotional feelings of the bereaved family and knows how to comfort and encourage them at ease.

Their main concern is to provide comfort and support by helping the mourning family members deal with grief before and after the loss of a loved one. Some of the most common bereavement services include individual, group and family grief counseling, phone encouragement, and informational programs.

Our bereavement counselor services can cover more than one year after the death of a loved one. Many people forget that a hospice has these additional services to help a bereaved family, especially those who grief for long periods before recovering completely.

Hospice Eligibility Requirements

Anybody who is facing advanced or fatal illness and any disorder with a limited life expectancy before it runs its ordinary course is eligible for our hospice care.

Furthermore, patients who obtain our hospice services must choose care that focuses on palliation or comfort rather than life prolongation.

Before patients begin hospice care, their chances of survival must be less than six months. They must also meet the hospice eligibility requirements founded by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Although there is no specific number of symptoms needed for a patient to qualify for hospice, the following conditions can help determine whether they are eligible.

Additional responsibilities include:
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Cancer
  • Cognitive heart failure and heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney and renal failure
  • Cardiopulmonary Disease/COPD
  • Neurological conditions, e.g. Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis

What Qualifies Patients For Hospice Assist Services?

The following signs and symptoms may indicate that a patient can qualify for hospice:
  • A patient is struggling with any terminal idleness, with a prediction of six months or less survival rate
  • Deteriorating mental abilities
  • Increasing weakness and fatigue
  • Difficulty swallowing foods and fluids leading to choking
  • A change in cognitive and functional skills
  • Needing more help with daily activities such as bathing, eating, and dressing
  • Progressive weight loss and decreased appetite
  • Frequent hospitalization in the past six months
  • Nausea and vomiting that fails to respond better to treatment
  • Fluid swelling/retention of arms, legs, and abdomen
  • Recurring infections such as upper urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and sepsis
  • Skin breakdown
  • Pain requiring increasing doses of anesthetics
  • Increased sleep and rest periods between activities
  • Feeling shortness of breath with minimal movement or activity

If you want to see more of our services, kindly contact our center, and our professional staff will address any issues you have to improve your life longevity.