Palliative care can be defined simply as “comfort” care – the relieving and preventing of suffering. This is what hospice is about. Hospice staff members receive advanced training in identifying, controlling, alleviating and preventing symptoms as much as possible. Not everything can be prevented, but hospice staff members have years of training and experience that helps people become, and stay, comfortable and as active as possible. Registered Nurses and physicians reassess the patients pain on a regular basis – and make adjustments as needed to assure the greatest level of comfort as the disease progresses.
Hospice team members will recommend options for symptom management in consultation with your physician. The individual, family and caregivers are strongly encouraged to be involved in examining options and participating in creating a plan that addresses their needs.
View the NHDD “Speak Up” video here
Advance care planning is making decisions about the healthcare you would want to receive if you happen to become unable to speak for yourself. These are your decisions to make, regardless of what you choose for your care, and the decisions are based on your personal values, preferences, and discussions with your loved ones.
Advance care planning includes:
- Getting information on the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available.
- Deciding what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
- Sharing your personal values with your loved ones.
- Completing advance directives to put into writing what types of treatment you would or would not want- and who you choose to speak for you- should you be unable to speak for yourself
Advance directives are legal documents that ensure your wishes are followed if you cannot make decisions for yourself.
- New York State Combined Living Will and Health Care Proxy New_York_Combined.pdf
- Five Wishes- learn more. Call for your free copy! 518.891.9631 x107 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advance directives are not just for the elderly! Anyone over the age of 18 should have an advance directive.
There are times when people- even young, healthy people- can’t make their own decisions about medical care.
- You could be injured in an accident and arrive at the hospital unconscious.
- You might be under general anesthesia for routine surgery when something unexpected happens.
- You could have an illness that leaves you unable to speak, or you are comotose.
Let’s get started!
Are you ready to start planning your health care in advance? Download this comprehensive, easy to follow guide to completing an advance directive Planning_Your_Health_Care_in_Advance.pdf
For more information about advance directives or to schedule an educational event contact a location nearest you.
- Relieves pain and suffering
- Emphasizes that the patient and family is the unit of care
- Offers compassionate care
- Respects patient goals and desires and encourages participation
- Addresses physical, emotional, spiritual and social issues with its team of professionals
- Builds a network of support to alleviate the burden on the patient and family
- Helps patients with activities of daily living
- Provides education about the disease and changes which may occur
- Teaches the family how best to provide care
- Provides bereavement services for the family
- Does whatever necessary to maintain dignity and provide quality of life for patient and family
- Medications- Hospice provides medications for relief of symptoms related to terminal diagnosis
- Equipment- Hospice provides all equipment needed to make the patient comfortable such as hospital beds, oxygen, wheel chairs and other necessary medical equipment.
- 24/7 Access to Registered Nurses – Our RN’s can be reached any time.
- Social Worker is available for in home counseling with patients and families.
- Bereavement counseling is provided prior to and for 13 months following the passing of loved one. Support and education groups are available for adults and children.
- Spiritual and Pastoral Care is offered to those who desire it.
- Trained volunteers are available for respite and emotional support
- Licensed Practical Nurses and Home Health Aides are available as needed to provide personal care.
Most people, when asked where they would like to spend the end of their lives respond without hesitation,” At home.” At home they are surrounded by the familiar – their pets, their loved ones, their memories. For this reason hospice care is most often provided in their home. But whether home is a private residence, an apartment, a group home, or a nursing facility – Hospice is where the home is.
Hospice staff and volunteers provide services in your “home” – wherever that is.
Short inpatient care is available for control of symptoms that cannot be addressed at home. It is also available for respite for caregivers on a short-term basis.
Please note that High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care is willing to arrange care in almost any setting that wishes to collaborate with hospice staff in
enhancing the quality of life of the patient.