Is there such a thing as waiting too long to use hospice?
Sharing a ConsumerReports.com article about “how waiting too long to use hospice care can make suffering at end-of-life worse.”
According to the article: Many people who are near the end of life wait too long to enter hospice care, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
In hospice care, attempts to cure a disease are usually replaced with treatments solely for pain and suffering, delivered by a specialized team. It usually includes medical and nursing care, counseling and social services, and it can be given at home, in a nursing home or in a hospital facility.
Bristol Hospice Hawaii held their annual Celebration of Life along with Honoring our Veterans on Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, at the Oahu Veterans Center.
Our very own Bereavement Coordinator, Ahi Johnson, along with many Bristol Hospice staff members and volunteers made this a memorable day for the many families and friends who attended.
Ahi Johnson & Katinka Hammerich
The event started with UH ROTC flag bearers marching to our National Anthem, followed by the Hawaiian National Anthem. Chaplain Bill Crockett said the opening prayers to begin the opening ceremony.
UH ROTC flag bearers
Afterward, Eddie Belluomini, a Veteran and a Clinical Supervisor for Bristol Hospice Hawaii, delivered a historical look back at what Veterans Day means and why Veterans Day will never be forgotten.
Eddie Belluomini (Veteran & Clinical Supervisor)
Shortly after, Iris Hashimoto and her daughter Kate performed a gracious lovely short hula “One More Day” by Waipuna.
The ceremony ended with the staff and volunteers welcoming friends and families to make any last words of remembrance for their loved ones, and to write the names of their loved on cards. As their loved one’s name was called out, a family member would place their card on the remembrance tree.
Special thanks to our Bereavement Coordinator, Ahi Johnson, and the many volunteers and presenters that made this event another memorable and loving day.
It is not surprising that most people associate hospice with cancer. In the mid-1970s when hospice came to the U.S., most hospice patients had cancer. Today, more than half of hospice patients in the U.S. have other illnesses for which they are medically eligible for hospice services, such as late-stage heart, lung or kidney disease, and advanced Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. (source: Hospice Foundation of America). Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, VA and most insurance plans cover hospice services.
Hospice is not a place, because Hospice is a plan of care. Patients may receive Hospice services wherever they call home, which may be a private residence or that of a loved one, hospital, assisted living center, or nursing home.
“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life.”
~Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of modern hospice.
Hospice is considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the patient’s loved ones as well. At the center of hospice and palliative care is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.
Typically, in order to receive hospice services:
A hospice physician and a second physician (often the individual’s attending physician or specialist) must certify that the patient meets specific medical eligibility criteria;
The patient’s life expectancy is 6 months or less if the illness, disease or condition
Click here for resources for end-of-life caregiving resources from Hospice Foundation of America. Or for further information from our Hospice experts, contact us.
America’s hospice professionals are on a mission to learn how to serve Veterans through the challenges they may be facing from illness, isolation or traumatic life experience.
Bristol Hospice is proud to be hospice partners the We Honor Veteransprogram. Developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the We Honor Veterans program aims to invite hospices to join a pioneering program focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment in the care of veterans.
As a We Honor Veterans Partner, the Bristol Hospice staff is better to:
Network with other hospices across the country to learn about best practice models
Also, the keepsake book, “One Who Served: A Memorial Tribute to Your Veteran.” is presented as a gift from Bristol Hospice for the family when their Veteran passes away. The book was written to celebrate military service, recognize the family, define the grieving process and provide resources for assistance. Learn more.
Helpful links The VA provides a full range of benefits to all enrolled Veterans. Click the links below for a broad overview of the benefits administered by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).
Hospice care, centers on the patient and family. The goal of the professionals at Bristol Hospice is to empower to make choices regarding care and assistance. The team serves as an advocate, helping to access the information and resources needed during this very challenging time.
At Bristol Hospice, we promote an environment where our employees feel valued and welcomed. We recognize that satisfied employees give superior service. Bristol Hospice is making a difference in a positive, memorable way because we are made up of passionate, committed people who have a desire to serve our community.
If embracing a reverence of life through offering care and assistance to those in need is what motivates you, then you may have what it takes to be a part of the Bristol Hospice team! Learn more about our career opportunities and apply now!
Bristol Hospice recognizes that every care center is a small, vibrant world. Care centers are sharing, welcoming communities and an integral part of the delivery of care across the continuum. We are pleased to work with so many wonderful providers across the U.S. as we work together to support residents who are receiving hospice care in the final months and weeks of life in a nursing home or care center.
Hospice is a service, not a place. Hospice care can and does take place in nursing homes with specially trained hospice workers coming to the facility to provide palliative care to terminal residents who have elected, or whose families have elected, hospice care which focuses on end-of-life comfort rather than cure.
The 2016 National Nursing Home Week’s theme is “It’s a Small World, with a Big Heart” underscores the bond between staff and those in their care. Staff and residents view each other in the spirit of family. For staff, this reality is often a calling to a special mission and a life’s work. During this special week celebrating our partners, we extend our utmost gratitude for all you do!
We look forward to connecting with our colleagues during this full week of activities that will continue to spark the Bristol Hospice team with innovative ideas, strategies and tools to lead with great vision and creativity as we continue to transform hospice and palliative care for the future.
Also, we are proud to support the National Hospice Foundation as a Tanzanite Sponsor for this year’s Gala. During the Gala, Bristol Hospice will join industry leaders in honoring Don Schumacher, as he retires from his position at NHPCO at the end of 2016 and raise funds to support Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice national engagement campaign.
April 16 is National Healthcare Decision Day (NHDD). Today there is a concerted effort to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. This year’s theme is “It’s Always Too Early, Until It’s Too Late, ” emphasizes the importance for patients to make clear their wishes regarding healthcare, and for providers to respect those wishes, no matter what they may be.
Advance care planning ensures that if you ever find yourself in a position where you cannot express your own wishes in matters of healthcare, there will be a system in place where your concerns will be voiced, and more importantly, heard. On NHDD, all adults can benefit from thinking about what their healthcare choices would be if they were unable to speak for themselves.
Bristol Hospice joins organizations across the U.S. that are focused on educating the public of the importance of advance care planning. Now is the time to consider healthcare choices if you are unable to speak for yourself. Decisions can be written down in an advance directive so that others know your wishes.
Bristol Hospice ~ Hawaii, LLC is graciously committed to our mission that all patients and families entrusted to our care will be treated with the highest level of compassion, respect, and quality of care.