Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
- Is an oxygen tank an option while enrolled in a hospice program?
- Yes, oxygen is always an option; especially if this will help make the patient more comfortable (hospice’s focus is comfort measures, rather than curative treatment).
- Can current medications be continued while enrolled in a hospice program?
- Yes, current medications can be continued, however the nurse and Medical Director will have to evaluate on a case by case basis whether these medications are in the best interest for the patients’ plan of care, which is determined by the patient and family. In fact, some current medications could be covered under the hospice benefit.
- What types of IVs are used while enrolled in a hospice program?
- IVs (intravenous method) are used for several reasons in hospice and sometimes they are not used at all depending on the needs and wants of a patient. One reason they are used is to distribute medicine (sometimes taking medicine in alternate ways like orally can be less painful for the patient). Another reason to use IVs is for fluid intake, which at times is necessary and at other times may not be necessary or even wanted (the nurse and Medical Director will decide on a case by case basis if IVs are needed based on the patients’ needs and wants).
- Can feeding tubes be continued while enrolled in a hospice program?
- Yes, feeding tubes can be continued as long as the patient is currently on a feeding tube and it will help keep them comfortable (for providing wanted nutrition) and pain free. It is recommended if a feeding tube is preferred by a patient, they should get one before enrolling in the hospice program because they are rarely provided by the hospice benefit.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
The most important thing for people to understand during national hospice month (and always for that matter) is that when it is time to call hospice, hospice is here to help patients and families figure out what to expect during this end-of-life journey. Hospice is a special health care option, here to make sure patients and families are having the best quality of life at end-of-life. A team of professionals will come into the home or home-like setting and provide compassionate care for the individual with a prognosis of 6 months or less to live. Now understand, if someone outlives that 6 month criteria, a doctor will assess the individual again on their pain and symptoms associated with the terminal diagnosis. If the individual still has a prognosis of 6 months or less, they are still eligible for our services beyond the 6 month criteria. This journey does not have to be experienced alone. Call a local hospice to find out how and where people can get the comfort, love and respect they deserve.
One way a hospice can show comfort, love and respect is through patient centered care. The patients' wishes and needs are the most important piece of the circle of care. Another way, is relieving the stress of care giving by being another type of caregiver who is available for on-call support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Finally (but not last), hospices provide special training and programs to patients and families to ensure they are receiving the best quality care at the end-of-life to feel comfort, feel love and feel respect. Although only a few ways to show comfort, love and respect are listed, there are so many ways hospice organizations can show this to patients and families.
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message: Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones. No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.