Deciding which path to take can be difficult...
Let Harbor Light Hospice make the road less lonely.
Harbor Light Hospice operates under a philosophy of care that provides support to patients with life-limiting illness and their loved ones during end-of-life. Harbor Light Hospice promotes dignity and emphasizes quality of life for those who choose to die in a familiar setting, surrounded by those they love. Hospice and palliative care services can be provided at home, at a skilled nursing facility, or at an assisted living center.
In the United States, hospice is a form of medical care that is unlike any other. The purpose of hospice care is to improve the overall quality of life for patients managing a life-limiting illness by alleviating suffering. To qualify for hospice, a patient must have been given a diagnosis of six months or less left to live. Hospice care is designed to holistically care for a patient by addressing their physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs. Hospice care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies. Hospice care is not about giving up. It is about making the decision to make the time remaining the most enjoyable possible. Hospice allows for a patient who is terminally ill to live life to the fullest while dying. To learn more about what makes hospice care so special, review the useful resources below:
- Hospice Care
- When is it Time to Start Hospice Care?
- Paying for Hospice Care
- Hospice Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Hospice Care - Conditions Cared For
- Talking to Physicians About Hospice
- Hospice Support for Patient Family Members
- Caring for Veterans
- Hospice Volunteering
- Receiving Medical Treatments During Hospice
- Visiting Patients in Hospice Care
- Talking to Loved Ones About End-of-life
Palliative care is often misunderstood. Like hospice care, palliative care focuses on enhancing the quality of life for patients by addressing the uncomfortable symptoms caused by their illness. However, palliative care can be accessed by a broader range of patients and not only by patients who are afflicted with a life limiting disease. This means that patients suffering from a variety of chronic illnesses can seek palliative care assistance to improve their level of comfort. For more information on palliative care, review the following online resources:
Patient Conditions Cared For
Hospice care and palliative care can significantly benefit the lives of patients struggling with life-limiting and/or chronic diseases. It is important to remember that because different diseases present different challenges, the needs of the patient will dictate the care provided. Hospice care is designed for any patient with a life-limiting illness who has been given a diagnosis of six months or less left to live. Palliative care can be accessed by a broad range of patients who suffer from any form of life-limiting or chronic illness. It is important for patients to talk to their physicians in order to determine if hospice care or palliative care would be beneficial to them. To learn about some of the specific conditions that hospice and palliative care can help manage, review our online resource listed below:
Alternative to Home Patient Care
Patient and family needs vary while under the care of hospice. Harbor Light Hospice provides two alternatives to the home care setting in order to meet each patient and family's needs.
- Nursing Care Facilities: Patients residing in nursing care facilities may receive Harbor Light Hospice services. If the patient is eligible for the hospice benefit, the nursing care facility is designated as the patient's residence and the nursing staff as the primary caregiver.
- In-Patient Care: If temporary hospitalization is required for pain or symptom control, or respite care is needed for family; hospice offers special in-patient hospice facilities.
Advance Care Planning
What would happen if an important medical decision regarding your care needed to be made, but you were incapacitated? After your passing, how would you like your funeral arrangements to be executed? Who is to take charge of your finances in your absence? These are all difficult, but essential questions to ask. Advance care planning focuses on getting things organized in case you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Advance care planning is an effective way to voice your wishes to your loved ones regarding your care and other decisions. To learn more about advance care planning, review the following pages:
- Advance Care Planning
- Advance Directives Overview
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- What is a Living Will?
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
- Do-not-intubate (DNI) Order
- Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) Order
- Advance Directives for Cancer Patients
- Advance Directives for Dementia Patients
- Advance Directives for Heart Failure Patients
- Advance Directives for COPD Patients
Caregivers are vital to hospice care. A caregiver is the primary person in charge of caring for a terminally ill patient. If hospice care is being received at a home, a primary caregiver is oftentimes a family member or loved one. The task of caregiving can be extremely difficult and caregivers may feel physical, mental and emotional burdens. Hospice care helps to mitigate the pressures felt by caregivers by providing support in a variety of ways. In some cases, patients and caregivers may elect “caregiver respite” which allows the primary caregiver to have some time away from their caregiver responsibilities in order to better focus on other aspects of their life and to rejuvenate. Caregiving is highly involved and being well-informed can make all the difference. For more beneficial information on caregiving, review the following pages:
Grief and Loss
Death is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t make dealing with the loss of a family member or loved one any easier. Managing grief caused by the loss of someone close to us can be difficult to say the least. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and grief will follow its own course. Although grief is an unavoidable part of loss, being more informed can provide some comfort while grieving. To learn more about grief and loss, read the following informational pages:
Hospice Patient Resources
End-of-life is a confusing time for patients and their families. As a society, we don’t like to think about death and often avoid the topic. However, being more informed about end-of-life will help hospice patients and their families to feel more at ease and prepared for the journey that lies ahead. Hospice patients should remember that their hospice team is ready to support them each step of the way. For more hospice patient resources, review the following: