November is National Home Care & Hospice Awareness Month. Although many people know about the services that hospice and home care can provide to patients, there are still many misconceptions about this area in health care. These misconceptions often prevent patients and their caregivers from exploring a possible treatment option.
Johnston Health offers Home Care and Hospice services along with the SECU Hospice House. This facility is a beautiful 18-bed hospice care center for the terminally ill. It is located on Hospital Drive just down the road from Johnston Health. Since its beginning, the SECU Hospice House has worked diligently to disprove the misconceptions about hospice by providing excellent care to the residents of Johnston County and surrounding areas.
Here are three common misconceptions about home care and hospice, and how our Home Care & Hospice department is making strides in disproving them.
1. Hospice is only an option when “nothing else can be done.”
This is completely untrue.
Hospice care does not end treatment, it simply shifts the focus of treatment to managing the comfort levels of the patients. This is done by not only managing the pain level of patients but also providing them and their family members with vital resources. These resources include counseling services, social services support for patients/families, and even counseling to help deal with the emotional and spiritual aspects of coping with a terminal disease.
Johnston Health Home Care & Hospice provides a variety of supportive services for patients and their families such as the support and care of an interdisciplinary team. Members include a physician, nurses, a nurse’s aide, social workers, bereavement counselors, volunteers and chaplains. The goal of the team is to work closely with the patients and their families to keep the patient comfortable, improve their quality of life, and to create a pleasant environment in which the patient can pass peacefully and with dignity.
2. Hospice helps people die sooner.
The goal of hospice and palliative care is to improve the quality of life for individuals utilizing this service. In fact, many hospice patients actually live longer. At the SECU Hospice House there are levels of care in place in order to enhance the quality of life for its residents based upon their unique needs.
The levels of care range from:
- General Inpatient Care: This is inpatient service is considered short term and is available for patients in need of pain control or assistance in managing symptoms. This level of care can include treatment options such as aggressive pain management to controlling involuntary nausea/vomiting. It is not intended to be custodial or residential.
- Residential Care: The patient is in need of routine hospice care, therefore they live at the SECU Hospice House. This level of care allows personal caregivers and families of the patient to focus on spending quality time with their loved one rather than stressing about providing routine care. While the patient is at the hospice house in this level of care they and their family members are able to rest and utilize the supportive services that are available to them.
- Respite Care: Respite care is a short term stay at the hospice house for patients already enrolled in a hospice program who are being cared for at home. The stay is up to 5 days per hospice certification period. Our goal is to prevent the caregiver from developing physical and emotional stress that can interfere with their ability to provide care to their loved one.
3. Hospice facilities are impersonal.
Many hospice facilities make every effort to create a facility that is a welcoming and home-like environment for patients and their families. The SECU Hospice House is no exception. Our facility offers:
- A full-service kitchen
- Dining and living room areas
- Outside patios for families to relax, gather with friends, and share a meal
- An interfaith chapel and meditation gardens for quiet reflection
- Spacious patient rooms with separate heating and cooling units, in-suite baths, TV and sleeper sofa for friends and family to spend the night with their loved one
Making the decision to place a loved one in a hospice care facility is a difficult decision that can take an emotional toll on caregivers. However, having the correct information about what hospice and palliative care actually is can assist in making the process a smooth transition.
If you would like to learn more about information about Home Care & Hospice or the SECU Hospice House and the services they offer to patients and their family members, please call Johnston Health Home Care and Hospice directly at (919) 938-7582.