The baby boomer generation, which numbers around 75 million people, is now starting to enter the retirement stage. As all of those baby boomers live longer, the need for quality senior care, assisted living options, and hospice care rise steadily along with their increasing numbers. With laws like the Older Americans Act, states have ready funds to provide hospice care and other types of in-home care so that seniors can enjoy quality of life right up until their passing. The same Act, as well as other laws, also recognize the need for caregiver education, support, and training.
In general terms, hospice care makes terminally ill patients as comfortable and pain free as possible. Hospice usually includes much more than that. Family members may never have experienced having a loved one with a serious illness or preparing for the end of life. Hospice workers help educate family members about the process of death and dying, how to communicate with their loved one, how to care for them, and train them regarding hospice and palliative care. Hospice workers are a great support to the family as they encourage them in getting self-care, support, and keeping a sense of humor.
When discussions with physicians begin to turn to how much longer a person will live, hospice becomes a viable part of the conversation. Doctors consider patients that have less than six months to live as candidates for hospice. Clinical records are considered legal documents and they become very important when it comes to accessing funding for hospice care through Medicare, insurance, and other sources. Hospice does not need to begin right around the six-month mark. Most hospice providers prefer that hospice start sooner than that so they can help navigate the patient and family members through this emotional stage.
Tennova Healthcare is affiliated with Tennova East Hospital, Tennova Middle Hospital, and Tennova West Hospital. In addition to doctors, nurses, and social workers, Tennova Healthcare adds spiritual counselors, bereavement counselors, and volunteers to the hospice team.
Amedicys provides hospice care in the patient’s home, in nursing centers, or in other settings. Teams provided all medications, medical equipment and supplies related to the illness. Workers help to control pain with medication. This program will also customize a program of care for patients with specific diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer.
Cleveland Clinic puts together a hospice care team that is led by a nurse case manager. The program puts together a custom program with emphasis on symptom management and pain control. The hospice program provides medications, medical supplies, and equipment. They also provide bereavement support to the family.
Hospice of the Western Reserve has three in-patient hospice centers and they will provide care at the patient’s home or in other settings. This program has the philosophy that family members move through the end-of-life stage much better when they are in control. Hospice of the Western Reserve considers the needs of the patient and the family members before developing a hospice care plan.
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