Hospice is a set of services that we all may need someday – if not for ourselves, for our parents. While death is not an option for any of us, we do have choices about the services we use at the end of life. Hospice is undoubtedly the best option in end-of-life care because it offers a whole variety of benefits, not only to those of us who are dying, but also to those we leave behind. We hope that the following pages will help to answer any questions you may have about hospice care. If you have further questions, we urge you to call us any time to speak with one of our compassionate staff members who can answer any other questions you may have.
Our services summarized:
- Offers a team to care for the patient, consisting of physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, home care aides and volunteers.
- Provides medically managed pain and symptom control.
- Offers support for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient and family.
- Relieves anxiety by providing information to the patient and family about what to expect as the illness progresses.
- Provides 24 hour a day access to the hospice team.
- Includes back-up inpatient hospitalization at contracted hospitals.
- Provides Respite Care.
- Covers Pike, Lincoln, Ralls, Audrain and Montgomery counties. *see map below
- Provides care in area nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- Reduces financial stress on the family.
- Provides special bereavement care to loved ones for up to 13 months after the patient’s death.
- Provides social visits (board games, conversations, haircuts, hair care, manicures, reading, etc.)
- Member of the “We Honor Veterans” Program.
- Offers various items and services through our Home Care & Hospice Foundation such as Thanksgiving meals, Pies for patients, Christmas gifts, annual memorial service, other beneficial & comfort supplies that may not be covered.
What is a caregiver?
Caregivers provide support to someone who needs help. It doesn’t matter how many hours per week are spent providing support. Caring for a family member or friend is not easy, nor is it something most of us are prepared to do. Learning about being a caregiver may help you provide the care your friend or loved one needs.
Caregiving often comes with new responsibilities and unfamiliar tasks, yet most caregivers never receive education or training. To learn more about caregiving, the decisions you may need to make, enhancing your loved one’s quality of life and where you can go for help and support, visit NHPCO’s CaringInfo.
*(From the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization)
For families and caregivers, it may be difficult to talk to your loved one about hospice. Here is a booklet that may help you bring up the Hospice Care Conversation.
Caring Bridge is a free, not-for-profit website that allows you to connect with friends and family using a personal, password protected site. Caring Bridge is similar to a personalized, private social network. You can merely share information with family and friends or you may even create a support group with them. Rather than constantly phoning and texting those closest to you, Caring Bridge allows you to connect with all of those you most want to keep in touch with at one time.
To find out more, click here.
Caregivers are those individuals who on a day-to-day basis provide the physical and emotional personal care for the patients.
There may be many caregivers for any one patient or there may be only one. The responsibilities placed on the caregivers are enormous and take a huge psychological and physical toll. Many caregivers become so absorbed with meeting the patient’s needs that they neglect their own.
We encourage you to take time for yourself to maintain your own health. Taking an occasional break in your routine of giving care will help you avoid becoming over-stressed and vulnerable to other problems. Hospice volunteers provide relief and respite for caregivers so they can manage the daily needs of their lives, other family members, get some rest or simply get away from the home and take a walk, go shopping or visit a friend.
By taking care of yourself, you are also making sure that you will be able to continue caring for the patient. Here are a few ways you can take care of yourself:
- Get the food and rest you need.
- Make yourself sit down and eat 3 meals a day; it is easy to forget when you are busy and under stress.
- If your sleep at night is disturbed by giving care, take a nap during the day while the patient rests or while the Pike County Hospice Volunteer is there. When you miss more than a few nights of sleep, it can be hard to keep going.
- Take time for yourself!
- Get out for a breath of fresh air or a change of scene. Even a brief walk around the neighborhood can make a big difference in your outlook. Relax in a warm bathtub, read a book or listen to music. Let yourself be alone for a short time to clear your head. Ask a hospice volunteer to stay with the patient while you take time for yourself.
- Let others take part in the work of caregiving.
- Allow other friends and family members and hospice staff to participate. They won’t feel so powerless when they feel included by doing something- anything- to help. By allowing friends to help, you enable them to give something back to you and your loved one. Let people bring meals, run errands, sit with the patient or take the children out. Hospice social workers are also available to help you explore other options to privately pay for help if needed. Allow yourself to tell people what they can do to help.
- Seek and accept support for yourself.
- Talk to friends and family about your feelings. This may not be easy, but it is healthy to cry and express emotions. Members of your hospice team will take time to listen and offer support.
- Find ways to care for your spiritual life. Whether or not you are affiliated with a particular religion, your view of life can be affected by caring for someone who is dying. Seeking guidance from someone who shares your spiritual outlook can help. Our hospice chaplains are an available resource to provide spiritual support if needed.
Caregiver’s Bill of Rights
- You have the right to take care of yourself.
- You have the right to seek help from others, even though your loved one may object.
- You have the right to do some things for yourself.
- You have the right to be angry and express emotions.
- You have the right to not be manipulated.
- You have the right to share affection, forgiveness and acceptance with your loved one.
- You have the right to be proud of what you do.
- You have the right to plan for and create life for yourself.
- You have the right to find support.