Quality of Life during the Final Stages of Life
Assistance is Available through ComfortCare Hospice
The word hospice derives from a Latin word that means “hospitable”, meaning host and guest. Hospice care is a special kind of care that focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers who are experiencing life-limiting illnesses. At South Central Regional Medical Center our goal in hospice treatment is to provide compassionate, hospitable care to all patients in their home environment at the final stages of life.
Tayler Bradberry, RN, Hospice Coordinator, states, “Hospice is a multi-disciplinary service that offers specialized care for individuals who have a terminal diagnosis with a life expectancy of six months or less. Our goal as caregivers is to help the patient manage their pain and symptoms and to provide comfort for quality of life, while being around people they love.”
Patients who can receive hospice care are those who have cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, congestive heart failure, lung disease, liver disease, renal disease, ALS, stopped dialysis or any patient who has a life-limiting condition whose prognosis is six or less months. The goal of hospice care is to improve quality of life by providing physical and emotional needs.
“Signs that a person may be a candidate for hospice care could be frequent hospitalizations or trips to Emergency Department, frequent or recurring infections, reduced desire to eat that leads to weight loss and changes in body composition, and rapid decline in health even with aggressive medical treatments.”
ComfortCare Hospice, a division of SCRMC in Laurel, offers a full spectrum of care for patients. The hospice team consists of physicians, nurses, nurse aides, medical social workers and a chaplain. Other services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and dietary counseling can be provided as needed. ComfortCare Hospice services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“The sooner the hospice treatment begins, the sooner the patient and their family members can receive the full benefits of hospice services,” stated Taylor. “Family members suffer just like the patients. Many families do not understand exactly what is going on. They want to help their loved ones, but they do not know how. To have an experienced caregiver come in and offer pain control for their loved one is priceless.”
When severely ill patients who suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, COPD and dementia receive hospice care early on, they experience less depression while improving mentally, physically and emotionally. While everyone will face this journey, facing the end of life with assistance from qualified hospice caregivers can provide care in the home where they are close to their love ones.
Taylor explains how ComfortCare Hospice meets the patient needs. “Initially, we provide a patient assessment and provide visits based on the patient’s needs. We offer care 24/7 and are there to answer any questions the patient or their loved ones may have. We also have staff readily available for medication refills, evaluations, issues with their skin, whatever it may be, we have someone available. The positive about receiving hospice care is that the patient does not have to wait on a doctor’s appointment.”
ComfortCare Hospice recently received a national award as a “Premier Performer” for ranking in the top 5% of the nation for caregiver satisfaction. “This award shows our commitment to quality, compassion and patient needs,” said Taylor.
Hospice desires to lift financial burdens from families at such a critical time in their lives. Medicare and most insurance companies fully cover hospice care.
Referrals to hospice typically are made by a patient’s physician, however if you believe a loved one could benefit from our services, we are here to help. For more information about the referral process, please call 601-422-0054 and we can help you initiate services. Once the referral is received, services may begin in 24-36 hours.
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