Our LIVING Hospice Philosophy

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’s about living well with an awareness of a life-limiting illness. In fact, research has shown that Hospice can actually increase length of life versus some aggressive treatments! Hospice Philosophy is also about providing comfort and empowerment to the patient, family and caregivers as a unit.

We are proud to provide PEP

Certified hospice professionals keep the patient and family involved in important decisions and keeps the focus on comfort and peace of mind. Hospice supports these goals in several important ways:

Pain and Symptom Control

Our Hospice staff integrates state-of-the-art medical and complimentary symptom management techniques. We work with the physician to help you be comfortable while remaining in control of your life.  Side effects are managed to keep you as pain-free as possible, yet alert enough to enjoy the family and friends who surround you.

Family Involvement

Through scheduled visits and family meetings, everyone, you authorize, remains informed about your condition and what to expect in the days ahead. Informal opportunities come up on a routine basis as nurses, aides, and volunteers talk with caregivers during routine visits. Family and friends are encouraged to express their feelings and to learn about death and the process of dying. Through family involvement, hospice care brings great support and relieves emotional stress. PEP

Fostering Social and Emotional Health

Confronting the reality of a life-threatening illness can seriously distract you from really LIVING.  Our Holistic Team of medical social workers, counselors and specially trained volunteers focus on individualized support needs; 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. 

Our Make-a-Memory program is a mini-version of the nationally recognized Make-a-Wish program. Our Non-Profit U.P. Hospice Foundation funds are used to support patients/families with a 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.

Exploring Spirituality/Religion

Particular beliefs and practices are never forced on a patient, but the topic of spirituality and/or religion often comes up as patients and families reflect. 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. Oftentimes, 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.

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.

Hospice is made up of a Team of Professionals

Our team addresses all of the needs of the patient, family and caregivers at its regularly scheduled Interdisciplinary Team meeting (IDT). The IDT meets a minimum of every two weeks to discuss patient and family goals/requests/input and also reviews every facet of the patient’s and family’s comfort and care.  The IDT is comprised of doctors, nurses, aides, dietitians, pharmacists, counselors, social workers, clergy and volunteers. The members review and initiate any necessary interventions regarding medical, palliative, psychosocial, emotional and/or spiritual needs.