When making a decision about Hospice care, it is good to have an understanding of what Hospice care is. Although end-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, having this discussion in advance allows patients and families to make an educated decision when considering options for care when facing a life limiting illness.
There is a difference between Palliative care and Hospice care. Palliative care is specialized medical care focusing on quality of life by relieving symptoms of a disease or disorder even if it cannot be cured. Palliative care can be provided along with curative treatment and may begin at the time of diagnosis. If the patient’s physician believes ongoing treatment is no longer helping, a recommendation to transition from Palliative care to Hospice care may be made. Hospice care eligibility depends on the specific illness and the life prognosis is six months or less.
Hospice and Palliative services begin with a referral made by the patient’s physician and followed up by an Overlook Account Manager within 24 hours. Often a hospice patient is admitted within 48 hours of that referral, providing the visit meets the needs and schedule of the patient and family/primary caregiver.
While the majority of Hospice care is provided where the patient resides in the community, Hospice patients may be hospitalized for symptom management or planned caregiver respite. Hospice maintains contracts with acute and sub-acute institutions for inpatient care when the need arises. Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home, but can be provided in any environment in which you live, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and residential care facilities.
Overlook Hospice and Palliative Care Services provides respectful, quality, compassionate care with the focus on comfort and management of symptoms when one is diagnosed with a life limiting/terminal illness. Hospice embraces a philosophy of enhancing the quality of life for patients and families to live each day to its fullest in their home, wherever they call home.
We understand that a life limiting illness impacts everyone and our service is for the whole family. Hospice is a philosophy of care that accepts dying as a natural part of life. When death is inevitable, hospice seeks neither to hasten death nor postpone it. Receiving Hospice care does not mean “giving up” or that death is imminent. The earlier an individual receives Hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize the patient’s medical condition and address other needs. Some patients improve and may be discharged from Hospice care.
Overlook’s Interdisciplinary Hospice Team includes a Medical Director, Nurses, Social Worker, Spiritual Counselor, Home Health Aides and Volunteers.
A physician assures quality patient care and symptom management, and will act as a resource for the patient’s attending physician. A registered nurse will work with patients and caregivers, leading and supervising the Team. A social worker will provide counseling, therapy and community resource planning, and grief counseling during and after the illness. Spiritual care can be provided in your chosen faith. Carefully-trained and committed volunteers will be led by our Hospice Volunteer & Bereavement Coordinator to provide respite, companionship and assistance.