The concept of Hospice has become an accepted part of today’s health care system. Hospice has as its most basic premise the desire to enhance the quality of one’s life no matter the duration. In other words, despite the association of Hospice with terminal illness, the primary goal is to help people spend their time living as fully and completely as they wish, in their own familiar, comfortable surroundings, and in the company of family and friends.
Hospice promotes the rights of the terminally ill which are as follows:
Rights of the Terminally Ill:
Those who serve as Autumn Care Hospice staff, professionals and volunteers, have selected this specialized area of practice because they believe it is a special privilege to be part of the hospice movement and part of your loved one’s final journey. They find joy and satisfaction in their work and communicate these feelings to others.
Responses by Autumn Care staff will be appropriate and acceptable according to each family’s unique lifestyle, values and wishes. We promise to provide supportive help to each family member as they desire for them to adjust to the illness and in anticipation of grief and bereavement.
We subscribe to the holistic approach concerning the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs of the
patient. We are dedicated to the relief of symptoms and the promotion of comfort. We support
individual integrity in a gentle and skilled manner.
We acknowledge the importance of collaboration amongst all members of the health care team including the patient and family which encourages an environment of mutual trust, respect, and support.
Role of the Caregiver
Being a caregiver is not an easy task. This may be your first experience taking care of a family member or friend and you may be just a little apprehensive about what is expected of you. Our job at Autumn Care Hospice is to help you learn how to be a caregiver, and give you the support and knowledge you need to do your job.
Some of the things we will be teaching you:
Below are just some of the items for a caregiver. For all our patients and families we provide a complete CareGiver Guide upon admission to Autumn Care Hospice.
When Do You Call the Autumn Care Hospice Team?
Autumn Care Hospice Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While most of our visits will be scheduled during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, there may be times when you have a question or concern that should not wait until our next visit.
It is important that you do not hesitate to call, no matter what the time, if you have a questions of an urgent nature or have noticed changes in the patient’s condition. No question is too small.
Team Approach to Care & Their Roles
It takes an interdisciplinary team to meet the needs of Hospice patients and their families. Here, more than anywhere, the team approach” is evident - with all specialties sharing in the services provided. The following outline gives a brief description of the various team members and their roles:
Medical Director: The Hospice physician directs the medical care and works with your primary physician and the Autumn Care Hospice Team.
Primary Physician: The patient’s personal physician is a key member of the Hospice team. The primary physician assumes responsibility for the medical management of his/her patient’s treatment throughout the patient’s involvement in the Hospice program.
Nursing Staff: Hospice nurses specialize in caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses. They are responsible for the direct skilled nursing care provided to patients in his/her home and coordinating support services.
Home Health Aides: The aides are skilled to assist the patient with bathing and personal care activities. They also may assist with other light meals and basic hygiene activities.
Social Worker/Counselor: The social worker/counselor is the principal contact for community resources. This individual provides direct support and counseling for the patient and family.
Spiritual Care Coordinator: Many patients feel spiritual support is a very important element in his/her care. When a community chaplain/minister is available, Hospice can encourage his/her involvement. Hospice can facilitate contacts with spiritual support persons as needed.
Other Home Hospice Services: Many services are provided directly or coordinated through the Hospice program. Among these services may be dietitians, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy services.
Bereavement Coordinator: Support to families can continue for up to 12 months after the death. Volunteer contacts, mailings and group meetings are organized by the bereavement coordinator.
Admission & Discharge
Admission to Autumn Care Hospice is a voluntary process the patient and family choose in which to participate. A patient’s physician certifies the patient has a terminal illness, with a limited life expectancy. During the intake interview, the patient signs a form indicating his/her consent for admission to the Hospice program. A Plan of Care is then developed with patient and family input.
When you elect the Hospice program, you have designated the Hospice to manage your Hospice in a palliative course of care rather than in a curative approach. Autumn Care Hospice is licensed as a Medicare provider and therefore must comply with all Federal and State Regulations governing Hospice care. Therefore, as your professional managers, all services, treatments, hospitalization, durable medical equipment and drugs related to your hospice diagnosis must be provided by and authorized by the Autumn Care Hospice Interdisciplinary Team. If you have any questions regarding your care, treatments, physician appointments, medications or equipment and supplies please contact your Autumn Care Hospice Team to guide you and verify your plan of care so that you will not be held financially responsible. The Autumn Care Hospice Interdisciplinary Team and you develop and continually update your plan of care to guide the team to meet your goals.
Sometimes patients choose to leave the Autumn Care Hospice Program. Reasons may include; their disease goes into remission, moving out of the area, or the patient may decide they no longer wish to have Hospice care. If a patient does leave the program, Autumn Care Hospice will assist in making alternative arrangements.