Hospice care at home is about offering hospitality to those on a long journey. It is about living life as fully as possible because each of us matters to the last moment of our lives. That was the essence of Dame Cicely Saunders beliefs as she founded modern hospice care.
We Support You
The focus of hospice is on the improvement of the quality of life. Hospice services support you in giving those you love the best you can offer in end-of life care. Hospice recognizes death as the final stage of life. We enable hospice patients to live their final days to the fullest surrounded by their loved ones.
We Help Guide You
To make an informed decision about hospice care, you need to learn as much as you can about what services are available to you under Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. Horizon Hospice provides comprehensive and practical end-of-life care that supports both the patient and the family. Our emphasis is on protecting the dignity of the patient while offering the best comfort care available. We offer a holistic approach in the services we provide.
Our Team Is Here For You
The key to providing comfortable care in the final days is a comprehensive plan that involves a team of medical and health care professionals, who address all aspects of a patient’s illness with importance on controlling and reducing pain and discomfort. Your team will include a physician, nurse practitioners, nurses and certified nursing aids, spiritual services, social workers, etc. A hospice nurse serves as a case manager and advocate for their patients. Their job is to monitor vital signs; manage medications, particularly for pain; and generally take care of the needs of the patient.
Hospice Massage Therapy
Massage is an excellent way to enhance quality of life for a patient who needs hospice care at home. It can help restore feelings of self-acceptance and self-esteem to a person whose body has been invaded by a debilitating, perhaps disfiguring disease. Massage herapy addresses feelings of isolation and loneliness. The right touch at the right moment can be far more effective than words in acknowledging a person’s suffering, and offer comfort and support.
For a hospice patient, caring, compassionate touch in the form of massage may have benefits more significant and more immediately noticeable than the physical benefits. People who are faced with life limiting illnesses are often experiencing a veritable kaleidoscope of thoughts and feeling, which may include:
Anger about the diagnosis, the physical and mental limitations imposed by the disease, and the effects of treatments.
Anxiety about pain, finances and how family members will cope.
Denial about the prognosis or progression of the disease.
Fear about what will happen next and about death itself.
Guilt over how the situation is affecting loved ones.
Depression and hopelessness.
Unconditional human contact in the form of touch acknowledges the reality of the situation. It serves to remind the person nearing death that she or he is still an individual. Touch reinforces the wholeness of the individual, regardless of what may be happening to his or her body and mind. The physical connection reassures the person that he or she is not alone, and it provides an opportunity for self-expression.
Grieving for the loss of our loved ones begins even before the actual time of death. We grieve for loss of the relationship, loss of the interaction, loss of all types of support that our loved one may have given us. We grieve for the changes that occurred in our loved one’s life and the suffering that he or she may have gone through. We grieve for the end of the opportunity to do the things we wanted to do together, and we grieve at the ending of the connection with that person here on Earth, the ability to communicate immediately and directly. We grieve for the end of a life together as we knew it, not knowing the changes to come.
Grief is more than sadness, it may feel overwhelming and consuming. However, grieving is a healthy and natural reaction, and all of us go through it at one time or another. It’s part of life, just as the death is common to all of us. It is said that the loss of a loved one is something that you may get used to, but you don’t necessarily totally get over it. We learn to cope with it.
But grieving can lead to depression and ineffective coping. One of the benefits of hospice care includes bereavement support services and counseling to all family members for up to one year after the death of the hospice patient. This includes children, parents, spouses or siblings. This support may be in the family’s home or at another meeting place. The important thing to remember is that the hospice benefit includes support even after the time of your loved one’s death (for up to a year and one month after).
Volunteers Help With Hospice Care At Home
No gift is greater than the gift of time. And at Horizon, our patients are facing life-limiting illnesses and know they may not have much time left. One of the best gifts that a hospice volunteer can give is making that individual feel valued and needed. Hospice volunteers have a genuine desire to give comfort, peace, and care to patients, caregivers, and families during the end of life. Hospice volunteers have a tremendous impact on the lives of the patients that they serve, and the families and friends of the terminally ill. Understanding the role of hospice volunteers, the ways in which volunteers can serve, and the impact that volunteering has on the lives of the patient, the patient’s family, and the volunteer, can better equip those deciding on whether or not a hospice volunteer should be involved.
At Horizon, we also have volunteers to provide pet therapy. Our volunteers and their volunteer pet therapy animals can visit patients in their own homes, in assisted living facilities, as well as skilled nursing facilities. The bond between patients and pets helps to aid our patients in facing and dealing with many aspects of dying. The animal/human bond is unconditional and with that comes a freedom or empowerment for patients to be able to peacefully and comfortably discuss and resolve issues they are dealing with while their pet or volunteer pet sits comfortably on their lap or at the bedside.
We Honor Veterans
We Honor Veterans is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA). The We Honor Veterans program invites hospices, state hospice organizations, Hospice-Veteran Partnerships and VA facilities to join a pioneering program focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment. By recognizing the unique needs of America’s veterans and their families, community providers, in partnership with VA staff, will learn how to accompany and guide them through their life stories toward a more peaceful ending.
We understand that as hospice professionals, we should understand how to serve veterans through the challenges they may be facing from illness, isolation or traumatic life experience. The first step to providing quality end-of-life hospice care at home to our nation’s veterans is to learn more about their unique needs by becoming familiar with military culture. Horizon Home Health & Hospice is proud to be a participant in the We Honor Veterans program. If you are a veteran, we want to tell you, “Thank You for your Service”.
Social and Spiritual Services
As a part of the Hospice Team, social workers will represent the patients and family’s wishes at the necessary steps along the way. They will advocate for the patient to ensure that each patient receives the hospice care at home that is hand-tailored to fit their needs. After a patient passes, social workers provide bereavement information, education, and support to help the loved ones left behind cope with the death and the subsequent adjustment to a life without their loved one.
Social workers assist individuals and families in the following areas:
- Psychological and Spiritual Stress. Psychological/spiritual stress such as anxiety, guilt, or depression can be addressed and managed through counseling (including emotional support), education, or short-term psychological techniques.
- Ethical Dilemmas. Ethical dilemmas (such as withdrawing or withholding treatment) may also arise. Social workers are adept at problem solving, advocacy and facilitating the proper resources to find solutions that are helpful for each family.
- Financial Stress. Financial concerns are often an issue at the end of life, and this is another area where social workers are
extremely knowledgeable and successful at helping people navigate resources such as health insurance coverage, medical costs, and bills, or accessing disability income.
- Advance Care Planning. Assistance with advance care planning to ensure that all treatments meet the wishes of the people receiving care is also within the purview of social work intervention. Advance care planning entails making decisions about treatment in end of care and funeral planning, and communicating this with loved ones and in legal documentation.
- Grief and Bereavement. Coping with loss and the ensuing grief process is another area in which social workers and Horizon’s spiritual services team are well versed. Dealing with the intense emotions associated with grief can be overwhelming without the proper support and information. Social workers have information and skills that help facilitate grief and help people avoid obstacles that can lead to more complicated reactions like depression.