November is National Home Care and Hospice Month, a time to honor all the compassionate and caring individuals who are central to our healthcare system and play an invaluable role for families.
Hospice is one of the most misunderstood services in healthcare. Hospice is possible when an individual decides to no longer pursue curative treatments like chemo or they are no longer benefitting from a treatment. Delivered wherever the patient calls home, main hospice services are covered 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and some private insurance.
Families and patients often wait too long to start hospice services because they feel it is giving up, when in reality the opposite is true. Hospice gives control back to the patient and families, allowing your loved one to keep their dignity through this life stage. With hospice, the focus is taken off curing the disease, allowing for a holistic focus on the person from a physical, social, emotional and spiritual viewpoint. Home Care agencies like Springpoint at Home can play a pivotal role in hospice care.
The biggest misconception about hospice is that a nurse moves into where you live 24X7. Hospice is a team of professionals that consists of an attending physician, an RN or APN (Nurse Case Manager), a Certified Home Health Aide which hospice supplies plus a Social Worker and Chaplain. It is the Certified Home Health Aide you will see most often, but their time onsite is limited, on average up to two hours a day.
Two hours a day is clearly not enough time for the hospice aide to make a difference for the family caregiver. Part of those two hours is spent teaching the family how to continue the care they have put in place. Once the hospice aide leaves, everything falls back on the family. In reality, as time on hospice increases, family members need additional help and support. A Springpoint at Home Certified Home Health Aide can play a key role for the patient and family, giving them the help and support they need.
It is particularly helpful when our Certified Home Health Aide or Aging Life Care Advisor ™/Care Manager already has a relationship with the patient. Often, an elder does not want anyone new in the home. Our staff can help with the transition into hospice by serving as the communications bridge between hospice, the patient and family. Our staff already knows which pair of fuzzy slippers are the favorite, where the phone cord is kept or which music station is loved. It is the little things that bring comfort.
As hospice continues, family members often feel physically and emotionally exhausted and things can start to fall through the cracks. With the support of Springpoint at Home’s caring professionals, families can be in the moment with their loved ones, while Springpoint focuses on their care and that is a priceless gift.