Is hospice just for people with cancer?
Listed below are common diagnoses of patients receiving hospice care:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA – Stroke)
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- End Stage Dementia
- End Stage Degenerative Neurological Diseases (Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, etc.)
- End Stage Renal Disease
- General Debility/Failure to Thrive
- Liver Disease
- Renal Failure
How will hospice benefit me and my family?
- Education for the patient and family on care needs, the disease process, nutrition, medications, physical changes, and emotions.
- Regular assessment of the patient’s condition and comfort.
- Addressing pain and other symptoms and recommending adjusting medications when necessary to maximize comfort, conserve energy, and enhance quality of life.
- Coordinating care and communicating with the patient’s physician, family, and caregivers.
- Hospice Aides to assist with bathing, dressing, and other personal care.
- Providing support to ease emotional and spiritual distress for the patient, family, and caregivers.
- Providing on-call nurses 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for questions and visits.
- Helping arrange additional resources if needed.
- Respite for family caregivers if needed.
- Medical equipment and supplies as related to the terminal diagnosis.
- Trained Volunteers are available as visitors, friends, and support to the patient and family/caregiver.
- Bereavement support prior to and following the patient’s death.
- Other services provided as needs are identified by the IDG: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Dietary Counseling.
Will I have my own hospice team and how often will they visit?
Is hospice available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
What does a hospice volunteer do?
What happens if I can’t be cared for at home?
Can I be cared for by hospice if I reside in a nursing facility or other type of long-term care facility?
Do state and federal reviewers inspect and evaluate hospices?
Hospice History and Facts
- The origin of the concept of Hospice began in Europe in the 4th century. Monasteries opened their doors to travelers and provided food and shelter. It was considered a place of rest.
- In the 19th century, London hospices were opened as a place for the dying.
- The first modern day Hospice was opened in London in 1967 and today’s version of Hospice was conceived by Cicely Saunders.
- The first American Hospice opened in 1974 by Florence Wald.
- In 2006 1.3 million people received Hospice care in the 4,500 Hospice programs throughout the US.
- The average length of stay in a hospice program is 29 days.
- 48% of hospice patients die in residence, 25% in nursing homes, and 27% in in-patient hospitals.
- In 2006, 44.1% of Hospice patients had cancer, 55.9% had non-cancer diagnoses including heart disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and pulmonary disease.
- Hospice patients live an average of one month longer than non-hospice patients.
- The Medicare hospice benefit was enacted by congress in 1982 and provides payment for hospice services.
- Hospice services save money for Medicare while providing high quality care.
- In 2006 there were 400,000 volunteers in hospice.
- The average volunteer devotes 41 hours of their time over the course of a year.
- Four out of five patients are 65 or older, 33% are 85 or older.
36% of all deaths occurred under the care of a Hospice program.
Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley
Dying Well and The Four Things That Matter Most, both by Ira Byock
Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings both my Rachel Naomi Remen
How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Peter McWilliams
Compassion Books is an excellent source for books on death and dying, grief and recovery from loss.
www.compassionbooks.com or call 1-800-970-4220.
www.growthhouse.org – Large online resource with both links and book lists.
www.caringinfo.org – A site by the National Hospice and Palliative care Organization.
www.agingwithdignity.org – Source of the excellent “Five Wishes” living will.
www.limbertwig.org for more links, books and information.
Continuum Care Hospice Locations
“The staff at Continuum Care Hospice are wonderful. They took stress and worry away, prepared me for my Dad’s death and visited with my Dad and me up until and through the last few days”.
12380 Plaza Drive #102
Parma, Ohio 44130