What is Hospice?
High Country Hospice provides physical care and mental support to terminally ill people of any age, and their families so that the ill person can live life as fully and as comfortably as possible. Hospice enables people to live until they die. It also allows their families to live with them as they are dying and to go on living afterward. Hospice regards dying as part of the natural life cycle.
Hospice is a way of caring that emphasizes
. The care is provided by a trained team that focus on keeping the patient as comfortable as possible by controlling symptoms of their disease so they can live life to its fullest. The team works together with the patient and family, urging the family to be involved in the patient's care as much as possible.
Hospice Team Members Include:
The patient’s primary physician remains in control of the care provided by the Hospice team. The physician helps develop the plan of care and writes all orders directing the patient’s care. A physician must refer a patient to Hospice, so please talk with your doctor.
A medical director for Hospice remains available for consultation and input into the plan of care. The medical director is contacted if the primary physician or colleague cannot be reached.
The nurse coordinator initiates the plan of care and coordinates the nursing care provided by staff nurses and nursing assistants.
Nursing visits are made regularly by Hospice nurses and/or the nurse coordinator. A Hospice nurse is available 24/7 every day of the year.
Certified Nursing Assistants
The certified nursing assistant (CNA) provides assistance with baths and other personal care weekly to relieve the family. Provides instruction for caregiver concerning physical care.
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The social worker provides counseling and support and assists patients and their families with finding community resources.
The chaplain provides spiritual support for the patient and family in conjunction with spiritual resources already in place.
The bereavement coordinator initiates
for the caregiver and other family members. Support continues through the first year of bereavement.
The volunteer coordinator selects a volunteer for each patient, respecting the patient’s needs and wishes, and coordinates their visits.
The volunteer serves as a friend to the family, offering support and assistance to the patient, caregiver, and other family members.
The goal of Hospice is to make each patient’s life as comfortable and meaningful as possible, and to support the entire family. Hospice does not hasten death or prolong life, and encourages patient and family autonomy within Hospice guidelines.
- The patient must have a diagnosis by a doctor of terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less.
- The patient and family must agree with the Hospice philosophy.
- The patient should have a responsible caregiver or agree to develop an alternate plan of care consistent with the patient’s safety and needs and in compliance with Hospice standards of care.
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