HOW IT WORKS
Hospice is for individuals facing a life-limiting illness with a prognosis of six months or less, if the disease follows its normal course. Hospice services are available for patients of any age when it has been determined that curative care is no longer an option, and the objective becomes ensuring comfort and quality-of-life.
Our team of hospice professionals works together with the patient and family to customize the patient’s care plan.
The hospice process begins when a patient’s personal physician certifies they are eligible for hospice care. If the patient has no personal physician, you can request hospice services by calling Good Shepherd Hospice for guidance and assistance. Our admissions staff is available to evaluate hospice eligibility and answer questions at any time.
Medical Direction provided by Good Shepherd Hospice physicians brings an additional level of expert care to the treatment of terminally ill patients. The patient’s relationship with their regular physician is preserved, while the hospice physicians bring a new emphasis on comfort control and dignity of life. At times when a patient’s attending physician is not immediately available, hospice physicians ensure prompt medical decisions are made.
Registered Nurses are the very heart of hospice, caring directly for hospice patients during regularly scheduled visits. Other nurses’ duties range from coordinating the delivery of medications and supplies to answering the many questions patients and families often have.
On-Call Nursing assures a Good Shepherd Hospice staff registered nurse remains available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Hospice Aides supplement the care provided by R.N.‘s, often assisting patients with manicures, pedicures, hair styling, bathing or other personal care, as well as assisting with light housekeeping.
Medical Supplies, Equipment and Prescriptions
Medical supplies, equipment and prescriptions related to the patient’s comfort or terminal condition are covered by the Good Shepherd Hospice program. Our trained nursing staff will assess the need for these items and coordinate their delivery.
Social Services provided by social workers include counseling patients wishing to resolve emotionally painful family issues that take on a new sense of urgency in times of terminal illness. Other needs addressed range from helping families communicate with insurance carriers and financial institutions to planning memorial or funeral services.
Spiritual Counseling is available to patients and families by our chaplains. The patient’s personal religious beliefs are always respected, and assistance is typically limited to the degree and frequency that patients and families themselves choose.
Bereavement Support helps surviving family members find healthy outlets for the emotional needs that accompany the loss of a loved one. Good Shepherd maintains contact with family members for at least a year following the patient’s death.
Trained Volunteers provide compassionate support when patients and families need it most. Services include everything from visiting to offer companionship, socialization and assistance with enjoyable activities, to helping with errands and providing a break for caregivers.
24-Hour Continuous Care
24-Hour Continuous Care can be coordinated, either in the patient’s home or in a licensed long-term care facility, should the patient’s condition warrant it. Although most acute conditions can generally be brought to a manageable level within 48 hours, registered nurses and home health aides will remain on-site around-the-clock as long as their services are required.
In-Patient Care is provided in a hospital when a patient suffers an acute setback that precludes on-site treatment. Should pain or other symptoms become unmanageable, Good Shepherd arranges for the patient’s admission to a hospital until the condition can be brought under control.
Respite Care provides for the hospice patient’s admission to a skilled nursing facility for as long as five consecutive days. This allows families to get relief from caring for their loved one with the assurance that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
Specialized Therapies addressing the patient’s physical, occupational, speech or dietary therapeutic needs are available whenever they may be required to manage pain or symptoms related to the terminal condition.
Good Shepherd Hospice does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment in its programs and activities based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or age.