Eldercare physicians have a difficult decision to make when it comes to deciding the best time to have an initial conversation with a senior patient and family about hospice. For many people, hospice makes them think that death is looming. In fact, the first conversation is just the first of many. Most hospice teams prefer to start their services long before they are needed. Part of hospice includes educating the senior and the family members about the natural process of dying. The sooner that family members learn about what they can expect, the more quality time there will be for everyone.
Hospice is not a person or a place. Hospice is a service that is provided by a team of professionals, each with a specific job. The hospice nurse has one of the most active jobs on the team. The hospice nurse makes regularly scheduled visits to the patient. The nurses provide expert pain management and symptom control techniques. The nurses keep the physician updates as to the patient’s condition. Home health aides provide personal care services for the patient including bathing, dressing, shaving, and feeding. Social workers help families with the practical and financial issues that they may not be familiar with. The hospice team also provides emotional support, counseling, and bereavement follow-up. Social workers coordinate volunteers and facilitate communication between family members and other members of the hospice team. Chaplains round out the team by providing prayer, religious support, and offering advice about funeral and burial arrangements.
Covenant Home Care offers a comprehensive array of hospice services including transitional care, continued care, skilled nursing, certified nursing assistants, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medical social services, and behavioral health services. The service specializes such ailments as congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes, infusion therapy, joint replacement, stroke rehabilitation, and wound care.
Amedisys Hospice is a highly rated hospice provider that starts services with an assessment of the needs of the patient and the family members. The hospice team provides all medications, medical equipment and supplies, medication management, disease-specific programs, direct care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, counseling, and chaplain services.
University of Tennessee Medical Center provides hospice services that allow family members to have quality time with their loved ones that are terminally ill. The hospice program provides an interdisciplinary hospice team of nurses, social workers, chaplains, counselors, and trained volunteers with a goal of meeting the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of each patient and family.
Find assisted living in Knoxville near you.