Our LIVING Hospice Philosophy
Hospice is a team of healthcare professionals and dedicated/trained volunteers who provide medical, emotional and spiritual care to individuals with life-limiting diagnoses, and to their family, friends, and caregivers. The patient and family control “how much” or “how little" care is provided. U.P. Home Health & Hospice wants patients to enjoy the best quality of life possible, for the longest time possible. While hospice is generally for the last 6 months of life, patients are not removed from hospice care after 6 months, and they may chose to remove themselves from hospice care at any time. However, since hospice is a full interdisciplinary team of caregivers, we have found that many patients and families have expressed that they wished they had investigated hospice care sooner, to benefit from the emotional, medical, spiritual, and care-giving assistance. If you have any questions regarding when the right time is to discuss hospice, please call (906) 225-4545.
Hospice Service can be provided in any setting or in a combination of settings – depending on the level of care wanted/needed. This can be:
- In your "home" wherever that may be
- Assisted Living Facility
- Skilled Nursing Facility
Hospice is made up of a Team of Professionals
It is important to know that you will still work with YOUR doctor, but we have a hospice team of professionals there to support you, you well. The team consists of:
- Hospice Medical Director
- Clinical Manager
- Care Aides
- Social Workers
- Bereavement Counselor
- Faith Leaders (if requested)
Our team addresses every need of the patient, family, and caregivers at regularly scheduled Interdisciplinary Team meeting (IDT). The members review and initiate any necessary interventions regarding medical, palliative, psychosocial, emotional, and/or spiritual needs. The IDT meets at least every two weeks to discuss patient and family goals, requests, and suggestions. The team will review every facet of the patient’s and family’s comfort and care. Other IDT supports include dietitians, pharmacists, counselors, and volunteers.
We are proud to be a LIVING Hospice. We strive to provide all Hospice clients with Hospice Philosophical Care; NOT end-of-life care.
Hospice is not about giving up; it is about living well with an awareness of a life-limiting illness. In fact, research has shown that Hospice can increase length of life versus some aggressive treatments and any person can choose to remove themselves from Hospice if they want to pursue curative care again.
Hospice Philosophy is also about providing comfort and empowerment to the patient, family, and caregivers as a unit. We are proud to provide:
Hospice supports these goals in several important ways:
- Managing Pain and Symptoms: We integrate state-of-the-art medical and complimentary symptom management techniques with YOUR physician to help you be comfortable while remaining in control of your life. Your side effects are managed to keep you as pain-free as possible, yet alert enough to enjoy the family and friends who surround you.
- Involving Family: Your family remains informed about your condition and what to expect in the days ahead. Family and friends are encouraged to express their feelings and learn about death and the process of dying. Through family involvement, hospice care brings great support and relieves emotional stress.
- Fostering Social and Emotional Health: Confronting the reality of a life-threatening illness can distract you from really LIVING. Our Holistic Team of medical social workers, counselors, and specially trained volunteers focus on personalized support, ranging from coordination of community resources to providing companionship and emotional support. We can assist with letter-writing or telephoning a loved one. We can help with running errands or reading a story.
- Exploring Spirituality/Religion: Beliefs and practices are never forced on a patient, but the topic of spirituality and/or religion often arises. Hospice staff and volunteers ask open-ended questions that help your family develop your quality-of-life wishes, including expressions of spirituality, religion, gratitude, forgiveness, and other unsaid feelings. Hospice can assist you with legacies, such as recordings, letters, or personal journals. Holistic Counselors can connect you with support for life review and memorial planning, or spiritual ceremonies. Often, the most meaningful gift is the offering of silent prayer or a listening ear.
Our Holistic Team can assist in reaching out to a specific denomination or congregation, if desired by the patient/family. U.P. Home Health & Hospice also has chaplains on staff that are available whenever needed.
Additional Support Programs:
Dottie's "VIGIL" Volunteers
During the times that a patient does not have family or friends present, our vigil volunteers are available to provide support and companionship. These volunteers are a special group of people who offer a peaceful presence and companionship whenever it is needed anytime of the day or night.
These volunteers are named after Dottie Thomas who was the epitome of a person who dedicated herself to the comfort of others. Dottie was a long-time dedicated volunteer of U.P. Home Health & Hospice and was awarded the prestigious Michigan Hospice Association's Volunteer of the Year. You would often find Dottie sitting vigil with a patient living alone at home or possibly in a nursing facility, etc.
Make a Memory Program –
Our Make-a-Memory program is a mini-version of the nationally recognized Make-a-Wish program. Patients and families may request funds from our Non-Profit U.P. Hospice Foundation for variety of requests including non-covered medical expenses and activities such as, iPod music program, virtual reality experiences, therapeutic massages, family reunions, a fishing trip on Lake Superior, or just a visit to take a sauna at camp.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Hospice services are generally covered under Medicare and other insurance. With help from our non-profit U.P. Hospice Foundation, nobody will ever be turned away due to inability to pay. Your questions, concerns, and comments may be resolved at any time by calling either of our offices: 485-4545 or 225-4545.