Hospice

Hospice

Hospice Care 


Hospice care is a blessing for those who choose it. At Health Services of the Pacific (HSP), we stress comfort and quality of life at every stage of one’s time with us regardless of age.

When life is limited to days, weeks or months, rather than years, it takes a special person to know how to best help a patient as well as family and friends make that time as comfortable and meaningful as possible.

HSP Hospice caregivers are highly skilled and expertly trained in dealing with the challenges that end-of-life presents. We whole-heartedly provide our patients and their loved ones with empathy, support and compassion every step of the way.

HSP Innovative Hospice Care works closely with patients’ attending physicians, and we partner with hospitals, nursing homes, insurers and community-based organizations throughout the island to enhance our ability to address the discomfort, fears and high expenses that often accompany an incurable illness. This collaborative approach meets the specific needs of the terminally ill and their families, promoting comfort and preserving dignity while offering options and choices that go far beyond accepted medical standards.

HSP provides care in patients’ homes, as well as in the company’s dedicated inpatient hospice wherever people could benefit from hospice care. The goal is to support patients and manage their care in the setting they consider home.

For questions regarding insurance coverage please call (671)647-5355 x 215

To find out if Hospice care is for you or a loved one please call (671)647- 5355


To learn more click here

Hospice Care: A One-on-One Care
What is Hospice Care?
Services in the Hospice Program

The Admission Process
Frequently Asked Questions on Hospice
Grief Resources
Hospice Volunteer Opportunities



Hospice Care: A One-on-One Care


Entering hospice care can bring up unfamiliar and often very difficult emotions for patients and their families. Dealing with a terminal illness has both physical and emotional dimensions. Our teams of professionals are sensitive to issues that arise during end-of-life, and are extremely skilled at providing support and comfort.

Patients and families are attended to by an outstanding team of caregivers:

Hospice Physicians

Health Services of the Pacific medical physicians are highly trained physicians who work with families and patient’s physicians to create an individually tailored care plan the best serves the patient. Highly skilled in pain and symptoms management, their primary purpose is to make every patient as comfortable as possible.

Nurses

Compassionate caregivers, skilled clinicians and great listeners, our nurses coordinate care through the patient’s advising physician. They focus on palliative care, lend emotional support, and update the family on the patient’s condition. Nursing visit are made as often as indicated by each patient’s care plan, and Registered Nurses are on call 24 hours a day.

Hospice Aides

Health Services of the Pacific aides tend to personal care needs, such as light housekeeping, bathing, and meal preparation. Day-to-day necessities are tended to by professionals and make all the difference, providing comport and confidence for all.

Social Workers

Our licensed social workers help patients and their families cope with the emotional aspects of the end-of-life care. Empathetic and informed, they are here to listen and emotionally guide patients and their families through this difficult time. They provide counseling services and can also refer family members to community support resources.

Bereavement Counselors

Bereavement Counselors are specially trained to help people deal with grief and cope with loss. They work with individual patients and family members, and they also host group sessions. These services are available during hospice care and for a period of 13 months thereafter, and they are provided at no charge.

Chaplain/Spiritual Counselors

Our spiritual counselors provide support to patients and family members when it’s needed most regardless of spiritual or religious beliefs.


What is Hospice?


Health Services of the Pacific - Hospice offers hospice or palliative care in the patient's home setting. Hospice care is for people who have a limited life expectancy (6 months or less) and have decided to shift the focus of their care from cure to comfort. Hospice emphasizes the quality of remaining life, allowing people to stay in familiar surroundings with their loved ones while receiving the health care and support services they need (including pain and symptom management. Hospice care occurs wherever a person calls home. In our program patients receive hospice care at home. Hospice is open to people of all ages (including newborns).


Services in the Hospice Program


         Regular visits from the hospice team that meet the need of the patient and family

         Medications that relate to the hospice or palliative medical problem(s)

         Medical equipment(s) that are needed to keep patient comfortable.
 

The primary focus of the team is to immediately address the clinical issues of:

         Pain
         Constipation
         Nausea and Vomiting
         Difficulty breathing
         Restlessness
         Anxiety
         Any other clinical symptom that patient exhibits


The onset of terminal disease can cause great turmoil for the patient and families. Emotions become intense and stress levels rise. Patients and their families not only have to cope with new medical diagnoses, but also with the financial, social and psychological stresses that accompany them.
Part of the care provided by the team is education of the disease process, coping skills and planning care and visits to patient needs.  
Bereavement process is a journey.  This journey of grief takes a lot longer, and is bumpier. To help with this journey, our Hospice program provides a comprehensive program of bereavement care and services.  
 


The Admission Process

Health Services of the Pacific-Hospice is a Medicare Certified and Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Agency. All patients referred to the agency must meet the following requirements.

         The patient’s physician must write the referral to the agency after he has seen the patient (within 90-days from referral).
         There must a reason for registered nurse, medical social worker and/or a physical therapist to provide care for the patient. 
         Prior authorization from patient’s primary insurance prior to starting home health services.

For questions regarding insurance coverage please call (671)647-5355 x 215

To find out if Hospice care is for you or a loved one please call (671)647- 5355


Frequently Asked Questions on Hospice

Where is hospice care provided?
Care is provided in a person's place of residence. While most patients live in their own homes or those of family members, some reside in adult family homes, assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Hospice insurance benefits do not cover expenses for room and board.

Does hospice provide caregivers?
Hospice does not provide caregivers. Hospice staff visit you in your home or residence to provide care on an intermittent basis. How often staff visit (and what staff are involved) varies from person to person based on individual care needs. Hospice staff, especially our social workers, can help you and your family identifies care options if additional help is needed.

Who pays for hospice? Is it covered by my insurance?
There are a number of options for payment, including Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and private payment. Each situation is different, so our hospice intake staff works with you, your family and your insurer to help you determine what benefits and coverage are available.

When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made and who should make it?
You and your family should feel free to discuss hospice care with your physician or health care provider any time you think it may be appropriate or desirable during the course of a life-limiting disease.  It is important at such times to discuss all care options, including hospice.  Most physicians know about hospice. 

If I start hospice, can I keep my physician?
Yes.  Personal physicians are an important part of the hospice team approach.  Your physician provides the initial diagnosis and referral, which initiates the hospice evaluation process.   If your physician chooses, they can stay involved throughout your care.  While the hospice team provides your day to day care, your physician continues to be available to you and your family and works with hospice staff to ensure that you get the best care possible.  Your physician will indicate this when he submits a referral and a CTI to Health Services of the Pacific-Hospice. 

Can I be on hospice and still get chemotherapy and radiation?
The primary focus of hospice care is comfort, not curative measures.  People often come to hospice care after methods such as chemotherapy and radiation have been tried and have failed to stop the progressive course of a disease. Thus, chemotherapy and radiation are not normally indicated or ordered within a hospice plan of care.  Remember, however, that you are always free to change your mind and renew active treatment.  You just need to revoke hospice care. You can always come back to hospice later if your intentions change.

Can I have hospice if I'm living alone, without caregivers to help me?
Yes. The important thing is that you are able to care for yourself and meet your needs. People who live alone often come onto hospice service and do fine. However, as your needs change during the course of hospice care, you or your family will need to find caregivers to help you remain safe in your home or consider alternative living arrangements. Hospice staff can help you in this process.

What would happen if I'm on hospice and need to go to the hospital? Would hospice still be involved?
The focus of hospice is symptom management and patient comfort. Most often this can occur in the patient s residence. Hospice staff work with family and caregivers to prevent pain and discomfort and help people stay out of the hospital. In some instances, however, symptom management may require hospitalization. Hospice staff will assist you in the unlikely event this situation occurs.

How does hospice "manage" pain?
Hospice staff members believe that emotional and spiritual pain are as real and as in need of attention as is physical pain. Thus, we address all facets of pain. Hospice nurses and physicians are up-to-date on the latest pain medications and procedures. In addition, counseling and spiritual support are available to help patients and their loved ones deal with emotional and spiritual pain.

What success rate does hospice have in helping patients manage their pain?
Very high. Most people receiving hospice care feel comfortable and enjoy a good quality of life. To achieve this, hospice staff use a variety of combinations of medications, counseling and therapies.

Will medications prevent me from being able to talk or know what is happening?
Not usually. We work very hard to help people in our care remain pain free, but alert. By working closely with you and your family, we are usually very successful in reaching this goal.

Does hospice pay for medications for everyone? Are all medications covered?
Your insurance coverage determines whether hospice pays for medications. For instance, the Medicare and Medicaid Hospice benefit covers medications used to treat pain and other symptoms. Our staff can help you and your family understand your insurance benefits.  On admission, our billing staff will talk to you about how your insurance benefits will cover medications and other services.

What happens if I "outlive" my 6-month prognosis? Can I still stay on hospice?
People do sometimes "outlive" their prognosis, which is often reason for celebration, especially if they are receiving good care and enjoying an enhanced quality of life. What happens at that point depends upon the unique circumstances of each situation. Sometimes people outlive their prognoses but their disease processes continue, so it is appropriate for them to continue on hospice service. Sometimes, however, people improve after receiving hospice care. In these cases, it may be appropriate for them to discontinue hospice care to enjoy the months or years of life they have remaining.

What happens if my condition improves?
It is not unusual for people to feel better after coming on hospice care. In some situations the disease process seems to halt and may even reverse course. Hospice staff will share their observations with you and review your care options with you should this occur.

Why would a person stop receiving hospice care?
Patients have the right to stop receiving hospice care at any time, for any reason. In addition, sometimes their health improves or their illnesses go into remission while receiving hospice care. When patients' conditions become stable to the point that they can no longer be certified as terminally ill (having a life expectancy of six months or less), they are no longer eligible for the hospice benefit. However, they can always return to hospice care in the future should their conditions change and they once again meet eligibility criteria.

What happens if I linger for months and months? Can hospice help me die?
No. Hospice does nothing to either speed up or slow down the dying process. Just as doctors and midwives lend support and expertise during the time of childbirth, hospice provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the dying process. Hospice care focuses on comfort and palliative care. We work hard to ensure that people have the best quality of life with their loved ones for whatever amount of time they have granted to them. That said, it is often difficult for patients and their families when patients linger for months, ready to die. If this happens, hospice staff work hard to help patients continue the highest quality of life possible. Many times, this involves helping patients resolve "unfinished business," such as personal or family issues, seeing loved ones or saying good-byes. We continue our care and our service for as long as patients continue to meet hospice eligibility guidelines.

Does Hospice provide help to families after their loved ones have died?
Yes. Hospice cares for both patients and their families. Care for bereaved family members continues after loved ones die and includes grief counseling, support groups and written materials explaining the grief process. 

 


Grief Resources

Web Resources:  Many wonderful web pages are available to help those who are grieving. These sites offer both information about grief and loss and the opportunity to connect with others who are going through the bereavement process. Below is a list of some very useful sites.


National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Offers information on hospice and palliative care and help on how to find a hospice.
www.nhpco.org

A comprehensive site containing information on grief and loss, specific information for widows and widowers, how to help people who are grieving, etc.
www.aarp.org/griefandloss

A source of information and inspiration in areas of illness and dying, loss and grief, healthy caregiving, life transitions and spirituality. Offers many books and resources to help those who are grieving.
www.willowgreen.com

Offers information about grief, inspirational quotes, recommended books with links to Amazon.com for ordering, information on near death experiences and after death contacts.
www.griefaid.com

Provides information on grief and bereavement, resource links to associated Web sites, information on hospice and home care, palliative care, etc. Also has an online chatroom.
www.growthhouse.org

A comprehensive source for grief and loss. Offers information on general grief, and that specific to parents, children, cancer, etc.
www.griefworks.com

Offers information on "Living with Grief when a Loved One is Dying."
www.caregivertips.com

An organization dedicated to parents whose children have died. Provides information on the death of children, support, resources, listings of local groups, etc.
www.thecompassionatefriends.org

A Web site for parents, teachers and other caretakers of children who have experienced loss. Offers great ideas on "how to help," resources, etc.
www.allkidsgrieve.org

A Web site for pet lovers who are grieving the death of a pet or dealing with an ill pet. Offers personal support, advice, The Pet Candle Ceremony, Tributes page, poetry, etc.
www.petloss.com

Good resource to understand and honor grief and loss processes; join chatroom; or access resources on grief and loss.
www.webhealing.com
www.thebereavementjourney.com/

Hospice Volunteer Opportunities

Hospice volunteer opportunities are available in the following areas: 

         Direct Patient Care Activities such as helping a patient write a journal, reading, listening are some of the examples of direct patient care activities.
         Administrative Activities that will support patients/families such as preparing newsletters, bereavement cards, assisting with the memorial services or relay for life is some example of the activities. 
         Fundraising activities for monies to support patients continued care in the hospice program. 

To qualify to be in the Hospice Volunteer Program for our hospice patients, volunteers must be sensitive, caring and mature people who can enter a home without judgment or the need to impose their belief systems.
They must not have had a personal loss during the last calendar year. Following the training, volunteers are asked to provide 2-3 hours of service per week for one year.
If you are interested in becoming a part of Health Service of the Pacific-Hospice Volunteer and the Hospice team or want to learn more about the program, call (671) 647-5355 and ask to speak to our Volunteer Coordinator or the Medical Social Work Supervisor.
 
Application and Training
You may download obtain an application.  Electronic application forms should be completed and mailed to the address noted on the application form.  Volunteers attend approximately thirty hours of training, which is offered twice a year—in the spring and the fall. Volunteers learn about Hospice philosophy and the interdisciplinary team approach, history of Health Services of the Pacific-Hospice, communication skills, grief and loss, universal precautions and spirituality. A great deal of personal work is involved in this training, including knowing one’s limits and acknowledging one's own beliefs about death and dying.


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