Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What does compassionate care mean?

"Compassion" is a word that is used commonly to describe hospice care. But what does compassion really mean? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “compassion is a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.” Hospice care provides just that. With a mission “to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness," compassion defines the mission of Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Compassion is the person who visits a family in crisis at 2 a.m. Compassion is a person who stays an extra hour to calm a worried child. Compassion is holding someone’s hand when no one else is there. Hospice of Southern Illinois wants to help our patients and families. Here are some examples describing how Hospice of Southern Illinois provides compassionate care:

·         Patients and families are our number one priority. We have special programs, like the We Honor Veterans partnership, to extend to patients and families to give them a personalized hospice experience catered to their needs and wishes.
·         Physicians work together to make sure patients’ wishes are carried out.
·         Nurses take time to educate patients and families about giving medications, how to care for a patient in their home, and what to expect in the future, which can relieve patients’ pain and reduce some families’ fear.
·         Social Workers/Counselors prepare patients and families for the stress and emotions that are in the journey ahead. They lend a listening ear to concerns and feelings at any stage of the end-of-life journey.
·         Bereavement counselors, in addition to routine follow-up after the loved one's death, reconnect with families on special occasions and holidays, because those times can be especially hard for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
·         Volunteers offer companionship and can allow for caregiver relief so the family can function as a unit and stay united during a difficult time.
·         Support staff works hard to make sure patients and families get the care they are entitled to regardless of age or ability to pay through education, community involvement, fundraising, and supporting daily operations.

Compassionate care is a team effort that takes passionate, dedicated and warm people. These people work together to provide the best end of life care possible, so no one goes through the dying process alone.

There comes a time... for compassionate care.  
Learn about Hospice of Southern Illinois, getting hospice services, and having your questions answered. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 800-233-1708 or visit our website for more information, www. hospice.org.

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