As we age we go through many transitions. The need for hospice is sometimes part of this process and hospice is a wonderful option to ensure the best comfort care possible. Using hospice doesn't necessarily mean that end of life is near but having the right care when needed is can make all the difference in the world--both for the client and the family.
If you read below you will see two different true life examples of how hospice support can help.
AltaGolden is well experienced with helping clients and family through the hospice experience. We have worked with several of the local hospice organizations and we understand how hospice works and what is needed to advocate for our clients. While hospice does provide nursing care, this support is designed to ensure that equipment, medications, and comfort care is ensured. It does not provide for general ongoing caregiver support. This is where the in-home caregiver comes in and this is where AltaGolden offers our wonderful support. If you are needing help during this time of life, please contact us to see how we may help.
The following stories are two actual clients:
Client 1 (C1): In June 2013 C1 went into the hospital with an intestinal bleed. After two surgical procedures the bleed was not corrected and the client went into hospice. Remarkably C1 survived but was very weak and near death for six weeks. AltaGolden provided caregivers for comfort care such as companionship, gentle massage of arms and legs (touch is very healing and comforting), ensuring music played, and coordination with staff in the skilled nursing center. After eight weeks C1 recovered and moved into an assisted living community. She is getting stronger on a daily basis and continues to use caregivers to help her with transportation, coordination of appointments, and general support. Her current goal is to get strong enough to walk without needing her walker.
Clint 2 (C2): Two days before Thanksgiving in 2013 AltaGolden received a call from a local hospital that C2 was being released from the hospital that day and needed 24x7 support. Neither the family nor the client were informed that her heart function was down to 25% and that the client was dying. The client was released from the hospital at 8pm and AltaGolden met the client and family at home to start support. The next day (the day before Thanksgiving) the client was in severe distress and was taken back to the hospital. The family was then informed that C2 was near the end of her life, the hospital refused to admit, they wrote orders for hospice, and sent her home. Unfortunately they did not do the referral to the local hospice organizations. Thanksgiving Day the family called AltaGolden to let us know that no one from hospice had called or shown up.
We immediately called Elizabeth Hospice and arranged for hospice to start immediately. We coordinated with hospice to arrange a hospital bed, oxygen, comfort medications, and visiting nurses to ensure that C2 was fully comfortable and supported. Our caregiver ensured that all services were managed properly and the client was at ease. The client's passing was peaceful and her family and friends were able to say their goodbyes.
These are two very different examples of hospice support. It is actually very common for clients to move in and out of hospice. Good caregiver support can make all the difference regardless of what you are facing. We hope we can assist to make your hospice experience as peaceful as possible.