Sandra and Tracee of Hospice of the Red River Valley joined us for our March staff meeting. They came to talk with River Pointe about how we can continue to work together to improve our residents’ quality of life. We also discussed the differences between Hospice and Palliative Care, and how each of these works.
From the Hospice website:
“Hospice care is comfort care available to anyone with an incurable illness during their last months and weeks of life. Hospice care alleviates pain and other symptoms to enhance quality of life for these patients and their families by addressing their medical, emotional, spiritual and grief needs.” Tracee described it as, keeping you wherever you consider home, with those that care for you, living as well as possible.
Palliative Care is different. Any disease qualifies for Palliative Care, which functions as a second set of eyes for patients, wherever they go. Led by a team of RNs – an assessment is made, goals are set, and symptom management is provided at any stage in the diagnosis. 50% of those involved in Palliative Care go on to Hospice, while the other 50% “graduates” from Palliative Care, no longer requiring services.
We talked with our Resident Assistants about their unique perspective of our residents’ lives, and how to recognize when things are changing for the resident. One big one is shortness of breath during movement.
We talked about the importance of making decisions about healthcare before they are needed, to prevent what Hospice refers to as, “Crisis Decisions.” Asking the patient what is important to them and what they would like help with, are important questions to ask. Tracee said it is also important to her to always be honest with her patients, about what can and can’t be done, and how each patient is unique.
We recognize this is a tough subject. Guilt or concern for a loved one can make this a hard conversation to have. Please consider visiting with the staff here at River Pointe about concerns you are having, or contact Hospice of the Red River Valley directly.
If you are ready to start making decisions about Health Care Directives, River Pointe is offering a free class about just that on Wednesday, April 12th at 3:00 PM with Mary Gokey of Sanford. “Like” our Facebook page to stay up to date with information about this upcoming class!