Hospice Care Is...
Hospice is a special kind of care. People sometimes think of hospice as a place where dying people are cared for. It is more accurate, however, to speak of hospice as a philosophy of care, a special kind of care, which helps those who are terminally ill to live with dignity and comfort. Hospice can be provided at home or in an institutional setting.
Hospice is palliative care. Hospice of Hilo provides care that goes beyond the cure. When a physician concludes that medical science has done everything possible to cure a patient, it is time to change the focus of care from cure to comfort. This typically includes a carefully managed plan of prescription drugs and other therapies for controlling pain and other symptoms.
Hospice is holistic care. Hospice is a program of care focused on the whole person — body, mind, and spirit. Hospice of Hilo is concerned not only with the physical welfare of the person, but with their social, emotional and spiritual well being as well. A patient who is dealing with a life limiting illness seeks, and deserves, comfort in every area of his/her life. Hospice provides an Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) consisting of a physician, nurses, nurse-aides, social workers, spiritual counselors, nutritional and other therapists, and specially trained patient-care volunteers. Our Director of Bereavement Services also serves on the IDT to ensure that families are provided grief support services as needed.
Hospice is patient-centered care. When a patient is admitted to Hospice of Hilo, the Interdisciplinary Team works with the patient and family to develop a plan of care that is specifically tailored to fit the unique needs, wishes, beliefs and values of the patient. Each person has his or her own idea about what quality of life means. Hospice of Hilo helps the patient to maintain as much control over his/her situation as possible.
Hospice is family-inclusive care. Hospice of Hilo care includes not only the patient, but also the patient's family as well. Family members and caregivers typically need support in dealing with their own emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual needs during this challenging time. Hospice of Hilo seeks to include them in the plan of care. Hospice of Hilo volunteers can assist the family by providing respite care, companionship and patient care services as needed.
Hospice is usually provided free of charge. Most hospice programs are funded through reimbursements from their patients' health insurance plans (e.g. Medicare and private insurance). In cases where there is no insurance coverage, most hospice programs will provide core services at no cost. With insurance coverage, Hospice of Hilo will provide-at no cost to the patient or family-nursing care, nurse-aide assistance in personal hygiene, medications related to treatment and management of pain, durable medical equipment, short stay hospitalization for respite and acute care needs, lab tests, and other patient services.
Hospice is compassionate care. Above all, hospice is care rendered with respect and an open heart, safeguarding the dignity of the patient and family. Hospice of Hilo's staff and volunteers are sensitive to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient and family. They know how to listen and how to "be there" for a client. Members of the Hospice of Hilo team seek to help in every way they can, respecting the needs of the client and his/her family, while refraining from imposing their own expectations or needs on the situation.