What is Hospice Care?
At its most basic, hospice care encompasses the services needed to maintain the comfort and dignity of a person whose life is limited. At Stillwater Hospice, however, we believe hospice care is far more than that. It is the opportunity to compassionately honor life, instill hope and allow our patients to make the most of the days, weeks and months they may have left to live.
Hospice care is designed for those who have any terminal, or life-ending, condition. It is appropriate to consider hospice once “curative” treatments—those designed to restore good health—will no longer be used. Once entering hospice, each patient receives an individualized treatment plan reflecting his or her personal goals, medical needs and the level of support required.
In our experience, hospice care can positively impact a patient’s spouse, partner and family of the patient as much as it does the patient. We can help reduce stress and worry by providing knowledge, structure and support.
An Integrated Approach
Stillwater Hospice takes an integrated approach to hospice care; as such, you are likely to meet a number of our team members throughout your hospice experience. They are may include:
Healthcare Providers: Physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and other healthcare providers work to coordinate and monitor all patient care. They also partner with the patient’s primary or specialty care providers to ensure the delivery of excellent medical care.
Hospice Medical Director: Our Medical Director, a local physician who has served in this community, serves as both a resource and a consultant to healthcare providers, the hospice team and patients.
Nurses: The Stillwater Hospice nursing team provides a variety of services, including direct patient care. They also play an important role in educating patients and families about end-of-life care and the dying process itself.
Social Workers: Social workers are key in connecting patients to needed resources within the communities. They also provide counseling services designed to comfort and support our patients, their primary caregiver and family, helping them better understand and address the impacts of terminal illness.
Spiritual Care: Spiritual care can take many forms based on the needs and beliefs of patients and families. Visiting with one of our pastoral care providers can often provide emotional comfort for all involved. These providers can also work with local clergy to ensure rites, rituals or religious ceremonies are performed at the time of death should the patient request them.
Other individuals who may work with hospice patients and caregivers include dietary consultants, hospice aides, light housekeepers and volunteers.
Levels of Hospice Care Services
There are four levels of hospice care available to the patients we serve. They include:
- Routine home care, delivered in a private home or in a residential facility, such as a nursing home or assisted living facility
- General inpatient care, which includes a change of setting when a patient requires a higher level of care
- Continuous home care lasting 8 to 24 hours as needed to accommodate a period of crisis to keep a patient at home
- Respite care, provided to give temporary (5 days or less) relief to the patient’s primary caregiver
If you have questions about hospice care, the types of professionals participating in the hospice process or what type of care may be right for you or a loved one, please contact us today.