What kind of support/services can I expect when placed in hospice care?

Hospice provides support and comfort for people who need end-of-life care. Opting for hospice care is one of the most compassionate decisions you will ever make. You can receive hospice care in your own home, a residential facility, such as the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice in Fredon, or in assisted living centers, nursing homes and hospitals. Some patients receive care in the homes of friends or family.

According to the Hospice Foundation of America, a third of all Americans choose hospice care when they are dying. But hospice isn’t only for the dying. Loved ones also benefit from hospice care, as workers will support them through some of the most difficult moments in life.

Here are some of the support services you can expect from Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice:

  • Every patient who receives hospice treatment must be qualified by a physician. All care is directed by your primary physician.
  • Nursing care and services are provided by or under the supervision of a registered nurse. At Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice our nursing staff is available to patients and families 24-hours a day.
  • Medical Social Service is provided by a qualified social worker under the director of a physician.
  • Our hospice Medical Director will oversee the general needs of the patient working in tandem with the attending physician which includes palliation and management of the terminal disease and related conditions.
  • Home Health Aides provide personal care services. Aides’ services are provided under the general supervision of a registered nurse.
  • Chaplain Services are available to provide/facilitate spiritual counseling.
  • Volunteer services are available to assist the patient/caregiver in any one of a multitude of ways from providing comfort and respite to the family, an avenue of socialization for the patient; assistance with shopping, etc. All volunteers have completed a Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice training course.
  • Bereavement Services are provided for 13 months following the patient’s death to family and significant others. Additionally, the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center holds bereavement and grief recovery support groups in all the communities served by Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.

The staff at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice is trained to offer peace of mind in addition to medical care. We hear it so many times, patients and families tell us: “We wish we’d called hospice sooner.” Patients and families can benefit most from hospice care when they seek support earlier rather than in a crisis.

The best way to determine if you or your loved one could be helped by hospice is to call us at 800-882-1117. There is no cost and calling does not commit you or your loved one to hospice care. Perhaps there are other resources in the community that could be of help to you; our social workers or nursing team will help guide you.

What is Hospice? How can I navigate through the myths surrounding hospice care?

Myths are common in hospice, for both patients and physicians. Breaking through the myths helps ensure each conversation about hospice is accurate and productive. We are always available at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice to talk to you or a loved one regarding appropriateness for Hospice and how it works.

Myth: Hospice is only appropriate for the last few days of a terminal illness.
Truth: Hospice’s goals are symptom management and quality of life. If a patient’s health status is in continual decline, he or she likely qualifies for hospice care. Sooner is better when it’s time for Hospice. The sooner you make the decision the sooner we here at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice can help you and your family with our multi-disciplinary team which includes: doctor, nurses, aides, volunteers, chaplains, social workers and bereavement counselors.

Myth: A patient cannot leave hospice.
Truth: Patients don’t always continually decline. Sometimes health will improve. Hospice is based on ongoing evaluation. Patients can come off or go on hospice as needed.

Myth: If on hospice, a patient cannot receive any treatment.
Truth: Hospice is not based on a “no treatment” philosophy, rather a shift in treatment goals. If a patient is on hospice for cardiac problems and then breaks a bone, that injury can be treated without coming off hospice.

Myth: All medications stop and morphine is administered.
Truth: Medications that are necessary to preserve quality of life are continued. A multi-disciplinary team ensures medications are continually evaluated and discussed.

Myth: Patients die sooner on hospice.
Truth: According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, hospice care patients can live 29 days longer than non-hospice patients, with a better quality of life. To learn more about Hospice and see if it may be appropriate for you or a loved you can view our FREE virtual presentation, “What is Hospice,” by clicking the link: https://bit.ly/3XHWEmC

Children’s Art Bereavement Program Scheduled

Children who participated in the children’s art bereavement program made several crafts as they learned methods to cope with the loss of a loved one.

The effects of unresolved grief on children can be devastating. From a child’s perspective, the experience of loss is not only overwhelming emotionally, but affects cognitive functioning as well.

Young children may be unable to recognize or categorize their losses, let alone sort them one from another. They may receive unclear explanations or no information at all about why these losses have occurred.

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice and the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center will host the Children’s Art Bereavement Program on Thursday evenings, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., starting on March 9. This themed program is designed for children (age 6-12) who have experienced the loss of a loved one through death. This program will focus on meeting the individualized needs of grieving children through art and play.

This series also helps children understand their own unique feelings in grief, allows them to come together with others who have also experienced the loss of a loved one, and provides an environment where they feel comfortable asking questions and expressing their feelings and fears about death.

For the adults, a simultaneous group will be provided for the parents or guardians. This group will be educational and supportive in nature.  

Registration for this session is limited. Pre-registration is required and there is a $150.00 fee to help cover the cost of materials and supplies. Limited scholarships are available. Please call Lorri Opitz, Bereavement Counselor, for more information or to register at 973-948-2283 or email lopitz@karenannquinlanhospice.org.