Its not about the Destination Its all about the Journey

Posted on

Oct 27, 2015

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Its not about the destination Its all about the journey.

A recent hospice patient was tired of being inside. He had cabin fever. During a visit by his nurse the patient was looking out his window admiring her Volkswagon convertible parked in the driveway. The last time he rode in a convertible, it was a VW, too. It was easy to read the memories on his face. One afternoon, on her own time, our nurse returned to the patients house. She helped him into the car and reclined the seat so that he could better see. She latched his seat belt and dropped the top on her VW. The day was sunny and the road filled with flashes from the past. They drove past places he had lived and churches he attended. They saw places his mother loved to visit. That day they drove back in time to recall a journey that had led to this very trip. After dinner out, our nurse took her patient home. He was exhausted, but the smile on his face after that ride will always be with her. Hospice is a journey through to the end of life. The goal is to treat patients with respect and allow them to live a full life during their last months. Hospice manages symptoms and pain. No hospitals, no beeping machines, no tubes. It is the end of life on the patients terms, with a helping hand to make the journey as fulfilling as possible. Hospice makes a difference in the lives of patients. A 2007 study that looked at Medicare beneficiaries with some of the most common diagnoses leading to death, found that patients who received hospice services lived on average, 29 days longer than those who did not receive hospice care. Hospice patients had 29 additional opportunities to enjoy their families, make a memory or share a smile. As hospice care providers, we strive to go the extra mile for our patients, in some cases literally. With deep roots in the Treasure Valley, we have served Idaho seniors for years and we understand they take personal responsibility seriously. We welcome your call to understand your family's unique needs and to help you make an informed decision for you and your loved one.

Written by Devin Limb, Administrator United Hospice. dlimb@unitedhospiceidaho.com

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the median length of service in 2011 was 19.1 days, a decrease from 19.7 in 2010.This means that half of hospice patients received care for less than three weeks and half received care for more than three weeks. The average length of service increased from 67.4 days in 2010 to 69.1 in 2011.

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If you are receiving palliative care, your treatment plan may focus on reducing symptoms of your illness and on improving secondary conditions such as depression, sleep deprivation, and side effects of medications.Palliative care may be given in various healthcare settings, such as at the hospital, a residential care facility, or your home. Anyone can receive this type of care regardless of age or the severity of their condition.If you receive palliative care, you may work with and be treated by various healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, physical therapists, counselors, and nutritionists. If you need spiritual care, your palliative care team may even include a chaplain. 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Talk to your doctor if you think you may need hospice care but arent sure when you should transition out of palliative care. Your doctor can talk to you at length about your options and the benefits of transitioning to hospice care based on your condition and unique circumstances. Taking advantage of hospice care as soon as its needed could result in access to quality care and lots of extra quality time to spend with your loved ones. Additionally, studies show that patients who plan their care in advance are more likely to be satisfied with their care, given how they can make decisions that align with their end-of-life wishes. How to Get Palliative Care or Hospice Care Consult with your healthcare provider if you or your loved one is interested in learning more about palliative care or hospice care. Your doctor can refer you to a palliative or hospice care specialist who can answer all your questions and help you determine which of these services may be more ideal. Palliative care and hospice care are covered by many major health insurance providers, including Medicare. The exact benefits covered will vary based on your health plan. Benefits covered may include medical equipment and supplies, skilled nursing care, bereavement support, and medications to provide comfort, among many others. Hospice At Your Side has resources for home health and hospice services throughout the United States. Specialty services we offer include diabetes care, orthopedics, and pain management. Call us today to learn more about our many home healthcare services.

Skilled Nursing: Providing Essential Care and Expertise

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Choose the Care thats Right for You

Understand your healthcare options. This makes all the difference when it comes to selecting the provider thats a match for you. As you face serious and/or life-limiting illnesses, palliative and hospice care enhance your existing medical care. They work in tandem with your current doctors and treatments. Palliative CareIf you have been diagnosed with a complex or terminal illness, palliative care can improve your quality of life by managing pain through additional visits from registered nurses. Your palliative care nurse works with your physicians and specialists. In addition, palliative care supports patients and families through the stress of living with an illness and can help improve their overall quality of life. Hospice CareHospice care isnt just for cancer patients or seniors. It provides emotional, spiritual, and physical comfort to anyone with a life-limiting illness. Wherever a patient calls home, hospice care comes to you. Hospice caregivers also deliver medications, medical equipment, and supplies. Additional ServicesWhen you think of healthcare, you rarely consider the extra help you may need to get through your day. Volunteer, chaplain, and bereavement services go above and beyond normal service offerings. In finding the care provider thats right for you, be sure to ask about all of their services and compare multiple providers. Covered ExpensesMedicare or Medicaid cover almost all palliative and hospice expenses, while private insurance picks up the rest. If your condition improves, you can transfer from hospice to palliative care. Selecting a Healthcare ProviderSelecting healthcare services can feel daunting. Remember, you are more than a patient. You are a person. You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at every stage in your life. Before you decide on a care provider, meet with the staff to make sure theyre a good fit for you. If at any point, you arent happy or comfortable with your care, let the company know. Youand your healthcarematter. *****Editors Note: This article was submitted by Larry Woods, CEO of Agape Healthcare. For more information, call 720.482.1988 or email info@agape-healthcare.com. See ad on the inside front cover.