The Hospice Team is made up of the patient, the caregiver, the patient’s physician, hospice’s professional staff and trained volunteers. Everyone works in concert to bring care, comfort and dignity to the patient during a very difficult time.
Here is what the Hospice Team can offer:
Patient and family. One or more family members typically provide the personal, day-to-day care needed by a patient facing an end-of-life situation. During this time, the hospice patient and his/her family play a key role in determining the level and type of care they want and need. The primary goals are to provide palliative pain and symptom management so the patient may experience the highest quality of life possible during the time remaining.
Patient’s primary care physician. The family doctor or specialist may manage the patient’s medical care following a referral to hospice, or may transfer the responsibility to the hospice medical director and be kept informed about the patient’s condition through routine medical status reports from the hospice clinical staff.
Medical director. The hospice medical director coordinates with the nurse case manager and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (on-call) to support the needs of the patient. The medical director, as appropriate, may consult with the patient’s doctor to modify the treatment plan.
Nurse. The nurse case manager, on call nurse and home visit nurse provide pain management and medical care, instruction and information, along with support and comfort to the patient and family. The nurse case manager makes regularly scheduled visits, plus on call nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions or make emergency visits.
Social worker. Listens and provides support for the patient and family through assistance in dealing with issues such as insurance, medical bills, living wills, utility coverage, food assistance and help in finding other community resources.
Home health assistant. Assists with the patient’s daily needs, such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, light housekeeping and other activities to help the patient stay active and involved in their care.
Spiritual care coordinator. Based on the wishes of the patient and family, the hospice chaplains are available to meet with the patient and family and discuss spiritual concerns, listen, offer advice and assist the patient and their family in recognizing their strengths.
Bereavement coordinator. Provides emotional support to both the patient and family through grief and loss education, home visits, and support groups.
Volunteers and volunteer coordinator. Trained volunteers become an extension to the patient’s family, providing companionship, running errands, helping with transportation, grocery shopping, delivering medications, and giving family members a break to rest and take care of their needs. The volunteer coordinator facilitates training, matches volunteers with the needs of the patient, monitors activities and collects information to prepare reports.