Helping Patients With Serious Illness

Hospice can help you improve the quality of life for patients facing serious illness. Many are medically eligible for hospice care and would benefit from our support sooner. 

If you think a patient may benefit from our care, we’ll make a home visit to help you see the reality of life at home and determine if they are medically eligible for hospice. We will only admit those that are medically eligible

As an extension of your services in the home we’ll work directly with you to help provide management of your patient’s symptoms as well as keep you informed of their progress. We’ll act as your eyes and ears as we visit them in their homes, educating them about their medications, improving diet, educating them about their illness and helping both the patient and their family deal with lost abilities, independence and the stresses associated with their illness. We can ensure they feel more confident and have a better quality of life by helping control their symptoms while giving them the support they need to cope.

Patients might be medically eligible for hospice if they are experiencing the following possible indicators:

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Dependence in 3 or more ADLs
  • Progressive disease
  • Increasing Emergency Room visits and/or hospitalizations for complications of disease
  • Patient/family choosing to focus on comfort rather than cure of the disease
  • Patient/caregiver experiencing increased stress, signs of anxiety
  • Patient/family habitually calling your office with questions about medications, symptoms they are experiencing, etc.

Help for patients with Heart Disease

Shortness of breath and functional decline come more frequently in the advanced stage of heart disease. Nausea and fatigue can make life difficult. We can help share the burden of care for your patients and their families In collaboration with you, our nurse and medical director will aid in relieving shortness of breath, sleeplessness, anxiety, pain, and depression that commonly develop with heart disease. The medical team coordinates medication management with your office and can also help you determine what medical equipment may be beneficial. We’ll also educate patients about their medications, diet and their advanced disease. We can ensure they feel more confident and have a better quality of life by helping them understand and control their symptoms. A patient may be eligible if they are experiencing:

  • Increasingly weak
  • Fatigue, shortness of breath and /or pain
  • Maximized medication regime is intolerable by patient because of side effects or maximized medication regime is ineffective
  • Symptoms of heart failure
  • Anginal syndrome may be present at rest
  • Discomfort is increased when physically active
  • Ejection fraction of less than 20% (not required)
  • They are already receiving optimal treatment for their disease and are not candidates for further surgical or medical interventions

Help for patients with Lung Disease

Lung disease comes with a debilitating shortness of breath and a dependence on oxygen. Frequent hospitalizations are common; we can help prevent re-hospitalization through support in a facility or in the comfort of the patient’s own home. In collaboration with you, our hospice nurse and medical director will address issues such as pain, shortness of breath, poor nutrition and confusion, while trying to prevent some of the more traumatic complications of lung disease. Patients who are experiencing the following may be eligible:

  • Shortness of breath, especially with activity
  • Feel like they can’t breathe
  • Excess sputum production
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Depression
  • Dyspnea that often causes anxiety, two of the most distressing symptoms

We understand that with symptoms such as these, you may be experiencing an increase in phone calls and re-hospitalizations. Let us help you by partnering in the care a patient with advanced lung disease.

Help for patients with Cancer

Cancer comes in many forms, but as it spreads throughout the body to other organs, weight loss and general weakness follow. As patients become less responsive to treatments, their care must shift to easing their pain and symptoms as well as their spiritual and psychological needs. Hospice may be a choice for patients experiencing metastatic or locally advanced cancer.

Help for patients with end-stage Kidney and Liver Disease

Liver and kidney diseases often require frequent re-hospitalizations due to the unstable nature of the diseases. When patients begin to experience frequent hospitalizations, increased stress, and chronic fluid imbalances, hospice can help. We manage pain issues, diabetes, or complications such as ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and hepatorenal syndrome or hepatopulmonary syndrome. We also provide nurses to address recurrent problems like fatigue or encephalopathy and its proper management. Hospice may be an option for patients experiencing:

  • Dyspnea with increasing respiratory rate
  • Cough
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Poorly responsive to treatment
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain out of control

Help for patients with Dementia

Dementia is devastating to both the patient and the family. Hospice can support family caregivers by reducing stress and providing counseling and spiritual support. Patients may be eligible if they are:

  • Losing the ability to speak, dress or feed oneself
  • Experiencing loss of bowel and bladder functions
  • Weight loss
  • Unable to walk or sit without support
  • And in past year has experienced one of the following:
  • aspiration pneumonia
  • pyelonephritis or other upper urinary tract infection
  • sepsis
  • multiple decubiti (stage 3-4)
  • fever recurrent after antibiotics
    • These patients and their family members require specialized care to ensure that their final phase of life is as comfortable as possible.