What you need to know about Hospice

When is the right time to ask about hospice? Now is the best time to learn more about hospice and ask questions about what to expect from hospice services. Although end-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, it is best for family members to share their wishes long before it becomes a concern. This can greatly reduce stress when the time for hospice is needed. By having these discussions in advance, patients are not forced into uncomfortable situations. Instead, patients can make an educated decision that includes the advice and input of family members and loved ones. How does hospice care begin? Typically, hospice care starts as soon as a formal request or a ‘referral’ is made by the patient’s doctor. Usually, hospice care is ready to begin within a day or two of the referral. However, in urgent situations, hospice services may begin sooner. Will I be the only hospice patient that the hospice staff serves? Every hospice patient has access to a hospice volunteer, registered nurse, social worker, home health aide, and chaplain (also known as the interdisciplinary team). For each patient and family, the team writes a care plan with patient/family that is used to make sure the patient and family receive the care they need from the team. Typically, full-time registered nurses provide care to about a dozen different families. Social workers usually work with about twice the number of patients/families as nurses. If needed, home health aides, who provide personal care to the patient, will visit most frequently. Is hospice available after hours? Hospice care is available ‘on-call’ after the administrative office has closed, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Most hospices have nurses available to respond to a call for help within minutes, if necessary. How does the hospice work to keep the patient comfortable? Many patients may have pain and other serious symptoms as illness progresses. Hospice staff receives special training to care for all types of physical and emotional symptoms that cause pain, discomfort and distress. Hospice care focuses on the patients physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Choosing a hospice One of the best ways to choose a hospice is to ask questions. A local provider such as Hospice of Laurens County is more than willing to help you understand services and how they might be appropriate for your specific situation. Our office is located at 1304 Springdale Drive in Clinton. Our agency began in 1987 and has served thousands of patients over the past 28 years. We provide care wherever the patient calls home. Although the majority of our patients we serve live in Laurens County, we are licensed in eight counties. Abbeville, Greenwood, Greenville, Spartanburg, Saluda, Laurens, Newberry and Union counties. Our clinical team is led by our Medical Director Patsy Sadler. Dr. Sadler and the hospice team are here to provide end-of-life care to our community. Hospice of Laurens County has the only inpatient unit in our county (the nearest is over 30 miles away). Most of the care is provided in the patient’s home but the hospice house is a crown jewel and a safety net for many families. The 12 bed facility was built in 2008. Save the Date: Flight of the Dove 11, August 27, 2016 at Presbyterian College. This is our largest fundraiser which draws nearly 500 cyclists from all over the southeast. Please contact our office at 864-833-6287 when we can assist. Our website is www.hospiceoflaurenscounty.com. We are here to help. (Jay Wilson is executive director of Hospice of Laurens County.)

My Clinton News

P.O. Box 180
513 North Broad St.
Clinton, SC 29325
Phone: (864) 833-1900
Fax: (864) 833-1902

 

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