BLUEGRASS CARE NAVIGATORS’ Hospice: Explaining and Dispelling Some Common Myths about End-of-Life Care Laura Dake, Community Partnership Liaison Hospice data referenced in this presentation are from 2016, the latest year figures are available.
What is Hospice and what does it provide? In a nutshell, Hospice is an interdisciplinary approach to end-of-life care providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to patients, caregivers and family. Bluegrass Hospice Care (under Bluegrass Care Navigators, previously known as Hospice of the Bluegrass) provides hospice services to 32 counties in central, northern and southeastern Kentucky.
Bluegrass Hospice Care
Hospice Myth #1 Hospice is a place. Hospice care takes place wherever the need exists, which is usually in the patient’s home. Bluegrass Hospice Care has three inpatient units: one at UK, one at KY One (formerly St. Joseph Main) and one in Hazard.
Hospice Myth #2 People die sooner when under hospice care. No! There is some evidence that people might actually live a little bit longer. Unfortunately, it sometimes appears that people die sooner because the average number of days spent in hospice care has decreased.
Hospice Myth #3 Hospice is only for older people. While most people under hospice care are older (nationally 47.5% of patients are 85+), services are provided at any age.
Hospice Myth #4 Hospice is only for people with cancer. Not at all. Hospice is for people with any life-limited, or terminal illness. Common illnesses we see in hospice patients include ALS; Alzheimers/dementia; cancer; heart disease (CHF); HIV/AIDS; liver disease; lung disease; renal failure; and stroke/coma.
Hospice Myth #5 Hospice care is expensive. Hospice services are covered under Medicare Hospice Benefit (Part A) as well as Medicaid, private insurance plans and VA benefits. Virtually all services are covered, including medications and supplies.
Hospice Myth #6 Hospice is for people who don’t need a high level of care. Hospice is serious medicine! Providers are trained in hospice and palliative care and offer the best technologies to prevent or alleviate bothersome symptoms.
Hospice Myth #7 Hospice means that the patient no longer has a say in his/her care. The patient is at the center of the care provided though many times hospice care is sought very late in the disease process when the patient may no longer be able to take advantage of some of hospice’s benefits.
Hospice Myth #8 Hospice is just for the person who is dying. Hospice focuses as much on grieving family and friends as on the patient. Hospice staff provide training on how to care for the patient and education on what to expect, as well as anticipatory and after-death grief services.
The Interdisciplinary Team Volunteer Pharmacist Physician Goals Bereavement Nurse Counselor of Care Certified Social Nursing Worker Assistant Chaplain
Hospice Myth #9 Hospice is only for people who have accepted death. The hospice team can help patients who are struggling come to terms with what is happening, but gently and at their own pace. The team can also help families work out issues, understand patient preferences and facilitate decision-making.
Hospice Myth #10 Hospice means you’ve given up hope. Hospice is hope redefined. It is often described as giving people not “more days in their lives, but more life in their days.” The gift is to help families see how much can be shared at the end -of-life, personally and spiritually.
Did You Know? Anyone can call to ask a question or make a referral. 24/7 access via 855.492.0812
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Laura Dake Community Partnership Liaison email@example.com 859-296-6186 | 859-559-9303 Follo ollow Blue luegrass ass Car are e Na Navi viga gator tors: s: @bg bgca caren enav
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