Honoring those who serve as nurses

Published 7:30 am Saturday, May 13, 2023

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In recognition of the 2023 National Nursing Home Week Observance, May 14 through May 20, we would like to extend our appreciation and most sincere gratitude to all the individuals providing care to our friends, neighbors, and loved ones residing in our long-term nursing facilities. We thank you for celebrating your residents’ lives daily and becoming an extension of their families.

Vickie Wacaster, Patient and Hospice Advocate with Aveanna Hospice (formerly Comfort Care Hospice)

Sadly, many do not know that nursing homes can utilize Hospice care for their residents. Hospice can be a mode of therapy many Nursing Homes suggest (must have the approval/permission from the patient’s physician and the patient and family’s permission) when they know an illness has reached an advanced level in the disease process and the patient is no longer seeking curative treatment. Hospice works with Nursing Homes to ensure Quality Patient Care and serves as an extension of the facilities services.

Hospice in the Nursing Home provides:

  • education and assistance with symptom and pain management.
  • a decrease in the number of hospitalizations.
  • 24 hours a day availability to handle any questions or emergencies.
  • an increase in resident and family satisfaction.
  • support to nursing home staff and patients.
  • service to the family and the facility caregivers – not just the resident.
  • care to meet psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
  • open communication to all involved with resident care.
  • reduction in survey risk for specific terminal diagnoses.

In other words, Hospice is the “something more” that Nursing Homes utilize to ensure the advanced/continuing needs of their residents are being met, while the resident’s family can be assured their loved one is being assessed with a focus on preserving their dignity, integrity, and autonomy of being in the place they have learned to call home.

We are fortunate to have several excellent nursing home facilities in our area, and we congratulate and commend all the staff for their admirable job in providing exceptional residential care.

“When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.” Abraham Joshua Heschel

— Vickie C. Wacaster is a Patient and Hospice Advocate with Aveanna Hospice (formerly Comfort Care Hospice).