COLUMN: Hospice provides ‘something more’

Published 7:30 am Saturday, May 18, 2024

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In recognition of the 2024 National Nursing Home Week Observance and National Hospital Week, May 12 through May 18, we in hospice want to extend our appreciation and most sincere gratitude to all the outstanding individuals providing care to our friends, neighbors, and loved ones residing in our long-term nursing facilities and for patients in the hospital.

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

If the physician orders it and the families agree, referral to hospice is a mode of therapy many nursing homes and hospitals suggest when they know an illness/disease has progressed to an advanced condition and the patient continues to decline. Hospice, with its comprehensive services, works together with nursing homes and hospitals to ensure quality patient care. In facilities, it serves as an extension of the services that is provided to their residents. For hospitals, when a patient is discharged home, hospice will provide the services they need to in their home, giving reassurance and support to the patient and their families.

Hospice provides:

  • Education and assistance with symptom and pain management.
  • Decreases in the number of hospitalizations.
  • 24 hours a day availability to handle any questions or emergencies.
  • Increases in patient and family satisfaction with the discharge process.
  • Care to meet psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
  • Open communication to all involved with the patient’s care.

Hospice is the “something more” that nursing homes and hospitals utilize to ensure that their patients and families’ advanced and continuing needs are being assessed and met. It focuses on preserving their dignity, integrity, and autonomy in the place they call home. We are incredibly fortunate to have three outstanding nursing home facilities and two exceptional hospitals in our immediate area. We extend our heartfelt congratulations and commendations to all the nursing home and hospital staff for their admirable job providing excellent care. Your dedication and hard work are truly appreciated and recognized.

“Embrace empathy, it is the foundation upon which excellent healthcare is built.” Author unknown.

— Vickie C. Wacaster is a Patient and Hospice Advocate for Aveanna Hospice.