Families that learn about the approaching end of life stage for a loved one often have little time to prepare. Many decisions need to be made quickly regarding the family member’s care. Patients and family members typically adjust better when they are able to get quality care in place quickly. Quality hospice care services can be provided in or out of the home. Hospice care includes training, education and support for caregiving family members, as well as care for the patient. Patients who are in the final six-month stage of life have a better quality of life and live longer when they have quality hospice care.
Chances are that seniors and their family members are used to working with doctors, nurses, and social workers. When developing a hospice plan, additional workers can fill the gaps of some of the medical professionals. Certified nursing assistants, therapists, bereavement counselors, home health aides, personal care assistants, and companions often provide some of the most valuable services for patients and families. Such care providers offer less in medical and physical care and more in education, training, and support, which are important services during this stage.
Referrals from family members and friends can be good way to research hospice programs. If someone that you know had a great experience with a particular provider, chances are that you will have a similar experience. The federal government offers an online comparison tool for home health agencies called Home Health Compare. This site lets you input a zip code, city, or state and retrieves a list of quality home health agencies in that area. The site shows a graph that shows which services the agencies provide including nursing care, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, medical social services, and home health aides. It’s a good tool to help family members narrow their choices down to a short list of providers.
Memorial Home Services offers hospice in the comfort of the patient’s home. Their program offers grief care and support groups, a hospice video library, and offers public talks by members of the Hospice Speakers Bureau.
Haven Hospice has a transitional program for individuals who can receive care at home and who may later need to transition to a hospice center. They also offer caregiver support, grief support, spiritual care, and special support for children, teens, and families. Staff will customize care to meet the unique physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of veterans. Patients can continue to stay connected with pets as a means of nurturing their emotional and spiritual well-being.
Heartland Hospice Care service the counties of Baker Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. John’s. This program lets the family remain in control. Care can begin before hospice is required and the program does not require that a patient have a “do not resuscitate order” to begin services. The program offers alternative therapies such as pet therapy, music therapy, art therapy, and more. Counselors help with making end of life choices and memorial services.
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