“This was our first experience with hospice care. It was remarkable. Your staff came into our home and helped us through one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. All this at a time when the situation with the corona virus was becoming more and more critical. Yet, our family- not just Mom- received continual, compassionate attentive care. … We are thankful for each member of our care team-they were truly a blessing to us.”
The Team Approach
The Hospice Team is a group of professionals from multiple disciplines including nursing, social work, pastoral care, bereavement, complementary care and volunteers. All disciplines work under the direction of our hospice medical director. When terminally ill patients are supported by an interdisciplinary team of skilled specialists, the last stages of life can become a comfortable and treasured time for the patient and family. Often, the patient’s physical, psychosocial, and spiritual suffering can be relieved through effective collaboration among the team and family members. Together, they form a caring community in which patients can find new meaning, restored integrity, and a dignified close to life.The cornerstone of our team is our dedicated hospice nursing staff. The hospice nurse’s responsibilities lie in many areas of care. Whether administering medications, providing ongoing wound care, carefully documenting vital signs, or educating families about the patient’s medical condition, nurses play a critical role in ensuring their patients are as pain-free and symptom-free as possible. The hospice nurse, trained to work with patients experiencing the end-of-life, provides emotional and spiritual support to those in their charge. As nurses and patients get to know each other, a powerful and unique emotional bond can form. This bond, and the support it provides, can help with the end of life transition. Our highly skilled nurses provide care in many different settings depending on what best suits the patient and family.
“We had to have Allen at home. It provides him with a secure environment in terms of knowing that we were going to care for him.”
Hospice at Home
Hospice care can be provided in a patient’s home setting, whether it is a private home, apartment, Assisted Living Facility, or Independent Facility. The interdisciplinary team establishes the plan of care to keep the patient as comfortable as possible. Durable Medical Equipment, supplies and medications can be provided in the home by the hospice team.
Hospice in a Skilled Nursing Facility
Hospice care can be received by a patient in any facility in which Hospice of Westchester has a contractual relationship. This is a requirement by federal and state legislators. The Hospice RN assigned to the facility provides care to the patient (resident) in collaboration with the facility and the Hospice Team. The plan of care reflects the participation of the Hospice, facility and the patient and his/her family to the greatest extent possible.
Hospice in the Hospital
This level of Hospice Care is a short-term intervention that is provided in an acute hospital that is also a participating Medicare facility. Hospitalization is sometimes required to manage acute pain and other symptoms that cannot be managed in any other setting. Patients are assessed and symptoms are managed in the hospital setting by the hospice team. Once the symptoms have been controlled, the hospice team reevaluates the patient for transfer to another setting.
Our Home Health Care Aides
The Staff Home health Aides at Hospice of Westchester are trained in end of life care by the Team at Hospice of Westchester. They assist families in provision of care to their loved ones, bathing, personal care, meal preparation, and skin care. Many times our staff health care aides identify subtle changes in the patient and immediately call the hospice nurse to report these changes. This communication enables the hospice nurse to check the patient and potentially change the plan of care. Our home health care aides are invaluable in so many ways. These are just some of their duties as the Hospice Nurse establishes the plan of care for each patient based on their functional limitations. The Hospice Nurse reviews the plan of care every fourteen days.