Of course, the care given by Hope Hospice begins with the patient. It is the patient whose vital signs are monitored. It is the patient whose freedom from pain is our #1 goal. It is the patient who is visited each week by a nurse or home health aid. It is the patient whose condition is discussed by the Hope Hospice team at our weekly meetings.
But the family and other caregivers also receive great assistance from hospice care. The hospice team is a resource that family members can depend on from the moment their loved one qualifies for hospice care and is admitted as a hospice patient.
At Hope Hospice, our team includes a social worker and two chaplains. They know that each situation is different. They work to accommodate family dynamics, which may change during the course of a patient’s time with hospice. They can offer informed guidance at times when family members may not know which way to turn. They share not just information, but also compassion.
During the last few days of a patient’s life, when bedside vigils continue around the clock, the Hope Hospice medical team works to ensure that the patient is free of pain. The team also works to provide certain types of basic care to the patient that family members may not be able to provide.
For family members who have not experienced the death of a close relative (spouse, parent or sibling), the obligation to make important decisions can be overwhelming. This is when hospice team members (medical staff, social worker, chaplain) can present useful input to assist in making those decisions. In some cases, the Hope Hospice team simply provides another opinion. In others, our team leads family members through a process they have not previously traveled.
After death occurs, our team stands by to offer grief counseling and to answer questions that may continue to arise. Though our time with patients and their families may be brief, from as little as a few days to as long as several months, we do tend to establish strong bonds. Our mission is one of compassion and love—for our patients and for our patients’ families and caregivers.