Category: Education & Resources

Recent Posts

  • Education & Resources ·

What Makes a Good Hospice Volunteer?

What Makes a Good Hospice Volunteer? By: Dr. Margarita David DNP, RN People become hospice volunteers for many reasons. For some, volunteering is a form of gratitude for the help they received when a loved one was ill, and others volunteer as a way of making a difference in their community. Hospice volunteers are an essential part of the hospice care team as their support and care can make a difference in dying patients’ and their families’ lives. Why do hospices need volunteers? Hospice patients and families usually perceive volunteers as regular members of their local community because that is…
  • Education & Resources ·

CHF & Hospice – Does it Qualify?

Congestive Heart Failure and Hospice – Does it Qualify? By: Elizabeth Townsend, RN Congestive heart failure happens when the heart muscle begins to not pump blood as it should. Conditions of congestive heart failure, such as narrowed heart arteries or continuous high blood pressure, eventually weaken the heart and make it unable to pump the blood throughout the body. This will result in fluid retention in the heart and lungs. What criteria must be met for CHF patients and hospice care? Progressive decline in status Continuous weight loss Weakness and fatigue Other uncontrolled symptoms such as shortness of breath and…
  • Education & Resources ·

Heart Failure and Hospice

Heart Failure and Hospice By: Marisol Ramirez, RN Now more than ever, it is imperative to manage serious conditions in the comfort of a patient’s home. Physicians, patients, and families can all agree that a caring and competent team is needed for optimal patient care. Under this joint effort, patient outcomes improve and overall healthcare costs lower for patients, specifically those experiencing congestive heart failure (CHF). Caring for a loved one with heart failure in hospice Making decisions for a loved one with heart failure can be difficult. You want the best care for your loved one. But how do…
  • Education & Resources ·

Hospice for Veterans with PTSD

Hospice for Veterans with PTSD By: Portia Wofford After dedicating their lives to our nation, our nation’s veterans often face difficulty as they near the end of their lives. While every veteran has different needs, those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) face unique challenges. PTSD, sometimes known as combat stress or shell shock, often occurs after a person experiences severe trauma or a life-threatening event. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the number of Veterans with PTSD, in any given year, varies by service era: Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. About 11-20% Gulf War (Desert Storm). About…
  • Awareness ·

Alzheimer’s Communication Tips

Changes in Communication As Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month continues, we want to discuss a very important topic- communication and Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, a person’s ability to communicate gradually diminishes. Changes in communication vary from person to person, but there are several common issues you can expect to see, including difficulty finding the right words and organizing words logically. Effective Communication If someone you love is living with the disease, you know it can be challenging at times to communicate with them. The video above discusses the following ten tips for effectively communicating with your loved one. Never…
  • Education & Resources ·

Hospice Eligibility Checklist For Emergency Department Staff

By Joelle Y. Jean, FNP Due to its busy nature, providers in the Emergency Room (ER) may not immediately identify patients for hospice care. Approaching patients or family members about hospice can also be challenging-especially if they have specific questions. This hospice checklist can help guide providers on when they should consider a patient for hospice. What is hospice? Hospice is for patients who are at the end of life. Patients can have a terminal illness or declining health from a chronic illness. The hospice team can coordinate care with health care providers to manage and treat patients. Benefits of…
  • Education & Resources ·

COPD Patients: Doctors Call For Earlier Hospice Referrals

By: Wilma Peterson, RN According to the American Lung Association, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Living with the symptoms of COPD, such as difficulty in breathing, can induce stress for both the patient and the family. Due to this, Doctors are beginning to call for earlier hospice referrals for these patients with COPD. If elected early, the benefit of hospice care can assist with symptom management, prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, and help patients achieve a better quality of life. Patients with advanced COPD are eligible for hospice care, which is…
  • Education & Resources ·

Hospice: Keeping Loved Ones Home for the Holidays

The holidays can be a challenging and bittersweet time for those with a seriously-ill loved one. Electing the hospice benefit may seem like one more item on your to do list, but hospice can ease the burdens of facing a life-limiting illness. If a loved one has unmanageable symptoms, they could end up spending their holiday in the hospital, away from family and friends. Hospice of the Midwest helps families manage their loved one’s pain and symptoms so they can spend the holidays in the comfort of home–whether that means in their own home, in a loved one’s home, or…
  • Education & Resources ·

The Hospice Benefit for Veterans

Care at no cost to Veterans and their families. Hospice of the Midwest collaborates with local VA agencies and programs to raise awareness about the benefit of hospice services for Veterans. As a Veteran, expenses for hospice-related services or enrolled veterans are covered in full. We Honor Veterans Program Hospice of the Midwest partners with the We Honor Veterans program to give veterans the best care possible. This program provides resources and training to meet the needs of our veteran patients and their families through respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgement so that veterans can have a peaceful end-of-life…
  • Education & Resources ·

Sepsis Awareness Month: Why Our Program Actually Works

By: Portia Wofford Home health clinicians play an essential role in caring for patients who are: At risk of developing sepsis Recovering from sepsis or septic shock Home health providers are vital in preventing hospital admissions and readmission among sepsis patients. According to the CDC, sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. Many patients receiving home healthcare services have chronic medical conditions and comorbidities that put them at risk for infection, including COVID-19 and sepsis. According to the Global Sepsis Alliance, COVID-19 can cause sepsis. Research suggests that COVID-19 may lead…
  • Education & Resources ·

Common Hospice Qualifiers

For many people, the decision to receive hospice care is made following the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness. Even so, some families still question this decision. Here are some common Hospice qualifiers to help determine when it might be time to elect the hospice benefit.  Falls Frequent physician, ET and/or Hospital visits Weight loss and or BMI < 22 Decline aggressive therapy or is not a candidate Wounds EF < 20% NYHA Class IV symptoms at rest Little or no response to Bronchodilators Serum < 2.5 Dysphagia and/or aspiration pneumonia Shortness of breath and/or o2 sat of 88% or less…
  • Education & Resources ·

Common Hospice Diagnoses

Hospice of the Midwest is here for you – 24/7/365. Choosing Hospice is often a difficult decision. We help lead this conversation and can ease the anxiety of the transition from cure to comfort for patients who are appropriate for hospice care. If two or more of these potential indicators are present, hospice should be considered. Common Hospice Diagnoses End Stages of: Cancer, Heart Disease/CHF, Pulmonary Disease/COPD, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease, Neurological Disease/CVA, Renal Disease & Liver Disease. If your loved one is requiring increased assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, oral care, toileting, transferring to…