Hospice offers specialized care and support for the terminally ill. The philosophy that guides hospice distinguishes it as a uniquely compassionate healthcare option.
- Hospice is an approach to end-of-life care. Hospice supports people with life-limiting illness so they can die in comfort, at peace, and in control of their care and surroundings.
- Hospice offers control of pain and other symptoms rather than a cure. Successful pain and symptom management is a top priority.
- Hospice focuses on the person rather than the disease. Hospice addresses not only the medical, but also the emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of the patient and loved ones.
- Hospice emphasizes quality rather than length of life. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. The goal is to make each remaining day as rich and positive as possible.
- Hospice uses a team of professionals and trained volunteers to provide support, education and counseling for the important persons in the life of the dying individual.
- Hospice supports both the patient and the patient’s family. Since serious illness impacts everyone in the family, hospice considers the family’s needs, too. “Family” is whoever a person says his or her family is—whether they are related or not.
- Hospice supplements care given by friends and family so that those with terminal illness can live at home—wherever home may be.
- Hospice offers grief support to surviving families and friends as well as the entire community.
The prevailing fears many people have about death are the fear of dying in pain, the fear of being isolated from others, the fear of being a financial burden, and the fear of loss of control.
A Step Forward addresses these fears by providing expert pain and symptom control, offering companionship and emotional support to the patient and family, providing services regardless of ability to pay, and designing a plan of care dictated by the wishes of the patient.
Everyone at A Step forward is dedicated to comprehensive, compassionate care for dying persons and their families. We help people live until the last moment of their lives in comfort and dignity
Hospice becomes an option when your doctor believes you have six months or less to live if your disease or condition were to run its natural course. When treatments are no longer effective or when your physical and emotional pain become too much for you or your family, hospice can provide comfort and support.
Here are some signs that may indicate that hospice care could be of help. The more you answer “yes”, the more likely it is that hospice could be appropriate.
- Have you been more tired and weak lately?
- Are you experiencing shortness of breath, even when resting?
- Are you spending most of the day in bed or in a chair?
- Has there been a sustained, unintended weight loss of 10% or more in the last six months?
- Are you making frequent phone calls to your doctor (more than once a week)?
- Are you taking medications to lessen your pain?
- Have you fallen several times in the last few months?
- Have you made frequent trips to the emergency room in the last six months?
- Do you need help to do important daily activities (bathing, dressing, eating, cooking, walking, getting out of bed)?
- Do you need more care than your family or friends are able to provide?
- Are treatments for your disease losing their effective value?
- Are treatments for your disease creating more pain or discomfort than is tolerable?
- Is providing care and support taking an emotional, physical, or financial toll on your family?
- Has your doctor told you your life expectancy is limited?
If you answer yes to more than four of these questions, it may be helpful to discuss hospice care with your physician. You can also contact our office and speak with a nurse to get answers to your questions.
Remember, you don’t have to wait until the last minute to call hospice. Hospice eligibility starts with a life expectancy of six months. You may not need a lot of help at the beginning, perhaps just an occasional visit from a nurse. The amount of support will increase as conditions and needs change. The earlier you get in touch, the sooner you can get support for the challenges ahead.
Hospice is for anyone with any life-limiting illness, including cancer, heart or lung disease, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and other end-stage diseases.
To be eligible for hospice, a physician and the hospice medical director must agree that they would not be surprised if you were to die within six months if your disease runs its natural course. Keep in mind, however, that there is not a six-month time limit for receiving hospice care. As long as you continue to be eligible, you can continue to receive hospice services.
Eligibility also requires that you forego further treatments that are seeking a cure in favor of comfort care, pain management and symptom control (children may be able to continue curative care). Hospice supports your choice to live the rest of your life as fully and comfortably as possible, with practical, social, and emotional support for yourself and your loved ones.
Hospice is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, with few out-of-pocket costs to the patient.
The Medicare hospice benefit covers costs related to the terminal illness, including the services of the hospice team, medication, medical equipment and supplies. Medicare reimburses for different levels of hospice care recognizing sometimes patients require special attention.
- Medications: The Medicare hospice benefit covers medications needed to treat the patient’s terminal illness. A Step Forward will order medications for you, and you can get them from the pharmacy or arrange for delivery. Medications for a condition not related to the terminal illness – allergy medication for example – are not covered by the hospice benefit.
- Medical supplies: The physician and nurse will work with the family to determine which medical supplies and equipment the patient needs. Again A Step Forward will order the equipment and have it delivered to the home.
A team of trained professionals and volunteers works with you and your family to develop a care plan that meets your individual needs for pain management and symptom control. The team includes:
- Your Own Physician: The physician you know and trust continues as an integral part of the hospice team. If you don’t have a personal physician, the Hospice Medical Director will act as your physician.
- Medical Director: A Step Forward’s physician is available to consult with other staff members or with your own physician. The Medical Director oversees all care.
- Nurse: Hospice assigns one nurse to provide all regular care. Other nurses may respond at night and on weekends. The designated nurse maintains regular communication with your primary physician and coordinates the entire team’s efforts.
- Social Worker: A social worker helps with problems that you and your family identify. These often include stress that serious illness can cause, relationship concerns, financial issues, or safety and caregiving challenges. The social worker provides counseling and emotional support and can arrange for additional community resources as well, if needed.
- Chaplain: A non-denominational chaplain is available to help you and your family members and friends think through important life issues in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. If desired, the chaplain can also assist you in connecting with a faith community.
- Certified Nurse Assistant: Certified nurse assistants and home health aides provide personal care and help the patient and family with activities of daily living. They also provide companionship and valuable emotional support.
- Volunteers: Trained volunteers are available to ensure that family and friends providing care have at least a few hours a week “off” by spending time with you. They may also record life stories, play music, style hair, provide transportation, go shopping, prepare meals, and help in many other ways.
Each team member is fully licensed and/or certified. Volunteers complete comprehensive training. This team of professionals works with you and your family to develop a care plan that meets your needs for pain management and symptom control. Both the hospice team and your care plan may change as your needs and wants change.
Although your hospice team does not provide 24-hour care, you and your caregivers need never feel alone or unprepared. Advice and emergency on-call care are available 24 hours a day from an on-call hospice nurse.
Hospice celebrates each person’s uniqueness. Just as each person has the right to live in his/her own way, each person has the right to die in a way that honors his/her own value system.
A Step Forward offers resources, choices, information, and support. You make your own decisions, in consultation, if you wish, with trusted family members or friends and your own physicians. If you are no longer able to articulate your decisions, A Step Forward works with your loved ones and physician to continue the kind of care you would want.
Hospice patients have considerable control over the end of their lives. That control includes leaving hospice—or leaving and returning later.
In hospice care, you do.
Hospice care is a mystery to many people. For answers to your questions about all the care services A Step Forward provides and how we do it, call us. In most instances, a patient is referred to us by their physician, but anyone can refer a patient to A Step Forward. Once our help is requested, our hospice clinical team will step in and have the necessary conversations to get hospice services started. This includes talking with the prospective patient, family members, and the patient’s physician(s).
A Step Forward provides care to anyone facing a serious life-limiting illness, but that does not mean a person must be close to death to be admitted into our service. A hospice appropriate patient is defined as someone with a life-expectancy of six months or less, however, it is not unusual for some of our patients to live longer than six months. In fact, recent studies have indicated that patients who receive hospice care can actually live longer than patients who do not enroll in hospice services.
If you are wondering about when to start hospice care, now is the time to call A Step Forward Home Health & Hospice. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions. Call (801) 562-8564 and speak with a hospice team member today. Calling is not a commitment, but rather conversation about your options.
When a patient is referred, A Step Forward will first contact the patient’s physician to verify that hospice care is appropriate. A hospice nurse will then meet with the patient and assess his or her needs and condition. A social worker will also offer assistance, addressing any emotional, social or spiritual needs the family or patient may have.
Certainly. If improvement in the condition occurs and the disease seems to be in remission, the patient can be discharged from hospice and return to aggressive therapy if they wish. The patient can be readmitted to hospice should any changes occur.
The entire A Step Forward hospice team is a support resource for caregivers. Here are some of the things we can do to support you in your role as caregiver:
- Inform you about all the services we offer and help you decide which ones best meet your needs.
- Teach techniques that may make your job easier, for example, how to move someone in and out of bed without straining your back.
- Provide equipment that may ease some burdens: walkers, wheelchairs, hospital beds, bedside commodes.
- Deliver supplies that will keep your loved one more comfortable.
- Give instruction on how to administer medications, and position your loved one to reduce the risk of bedsores.
- Offer a hospice aide to assist with personal care and light housekeeping needs.
- Send in a trained volunteer to give you time to get out of the house, run some errands, meet friends, or pursue activities you enjoy. The volunteer may also help you prepare a meal, do some chores, or just be there for you.
- Assist you or other family members in completing an Advanced Directive.
- Talk with you and your family about adjustments and stresses related to the illness and ways to cope.
- Help you and your family understand what is happening and what to expect throughout the dying process.
- Coordinate a change of location, if needed.
- Problem-solve solutions to situations that are creating stress.
- Identify community resources if you need more help.
- Offer grief counseling to help you work through issues related to the upcoming loss. Bereavement services are available upon admission to hospice and for up to thirteen months after the death.
- Provide support and reassurance during a challenging time.
(Links and articles that might be helpful to patients and their families – both home health and hospice. These would need to be updated periodically so info stays fresh)
|Phone:||1-800-658-8898 help line|
|Phone:||1-877-658-8896 multilingual line (toll-free)|
|Caring Connections, a program of the U.S. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), seeks to improve care at the end of life. Caring Connections provides free resources, including educational brochures, advance directives and hospice information, and a toll-free help line for people looking for quality end-of-life information.|
National Alliance for Caregiving
Caregiving touches almost every family and in very different ways – different health conditions; different situations; even different cultures. Understanding the family caregiver and what they need to be successful is why the Alliance has been serving America’s nearly 66 million family caregivers since 1996.
We are a non-profit coalition of over 50 national organizations focused on family caregiving – working together for a healthier America.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
The official website representing the national interests of hospice programs. Connects you to local programs, legislative actions, resources.
Volunteers play an integral role in the care A Step Forward provides by sharing their helping hands, listening ears, and warm hearts. Whether in a patient’s home or at the hospice office, volunteers make a difference on a daily basis as they give many kinds of compassionate, practical help.
Use your unique gifts & talents to help others!
Call or email us today. Volunteers touch lives and make a difference! Volunteers are needed in the Salt Lake area, Bountiful, Layton, Ogden, and everywhere in-between!
Volunteers are a huge support to our patients and their families! They can provide services such as active listening, emotional support, life review, scrap booking, quilting or craft projects, reading, social interaction, visiting, companionship, yard care or clean up, writing letters, and specialized services by licensed professionals such as massage therapy, music therapy and pet therapy.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and pass a background check, including fingerprints. Volunteers will be provided with 12 hours of basic volunteer orientation and training, and on-going education experiences that will be available quarterly. We ask that volunteers provide service for a minimum of 4 to 8 hours per month for at least six months. Volunteers may choose to work directly with patients and families or in the office as opportunities arise.
Call or email today for more information:
Laurie Dunnavant, Volunteer Coordinator
Home health care refers to medical services provided at the patient’s residence. The residence can be a private home or assisted living facility. The home care services typically include skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work and in-home aide. Home care may also include certain medical equipment and supplies.
Home Health Care is used for both short and long-term conditions, for example:
Nursing home health care treatment of an acute illness Nursing visits for IV therapy Physical Therapy strengthening and rehabilitation Nursing aide assistance with bathing and light housekeeping Occupational & Physical Therapy as a transition after hospitalization or surgery Home monitoring of blood sugar levels, blood pressure, weight loss, etc.
We accept payment for services from Medicare, and Medicaid. For most services, there is no cost to you if you are an eligible beneficiary for Medicare. Some insurers may require Pre Certification and may limit the number and type of home visits we can provide.
- Medicare covers home health services 100% as long as the delivered care is necessary to the patient’s wellbeing, requires skilled intervention, and the patient is homebound as defined by Medicare guidelines.
- Medicare patients should not owe any out of pocket expenses for home health services including therapy, nursing, and home health aide assistance.
- Items such as walkers, wheelchairs, and canes will be purchased through a medical equipment company and billed to Medicare.
- Medicare does not cover general household services, meal preparation, shopping, or other home care services furnished mainly to assist in meeting family or domestic needs.
- In the event that we suspect any services or goods will not be covered by Medicare, we will notify you prior to delivery of said goods and services.
- Medicaid covers 100o/o of home health services including nursing, therapy, and home health aid assistance. You should not be responsible for any part of the bill for services.
- In the event that we suspect any services or goods will not be covered by Medicaid, we will notify you prior to delivery of said goods and services.
- We will bill your insurance company for all services that we provide. -We will bill secondary insurance policies as well. Please provide all insurance information to the nurse during the admission process.
- The patient/guardian will be responsible for any fees that have not been paid by the patient’s insurance company. For example, if your insurance policy covers home health 80%, then you will be billed for the other 20% of services unless prior arrangements have been made.
A Step Forward Homecare provides a service or a combination of services in your home under the direction of your physician. Our services include the following:
- Skilled Nursing
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Medical Social Worker
- Home Health Aide
Patient and family participation is very important when we plan and coordinate for your health care. There must be a willing and able patient or caregiver to be responsible for care between visits. Qualified medical personnel will visit and assess your needs; together we will discuss the services and the plan that would best benefit you.
A Step Forward is committed to providing you or your loved one with the very best homecare and hospice care services in the home. We offer a team of the most highly qualified professionals, including physicians, nurses, therapists, social services, and personal aides.
Whether you are recovering from surgery, in need of diabetic care, or experiencing a decline in function, A Step Forward will work with you and your physician to develop a plan of care that meets your individual needs. This means faster recovery, more comfort, and personalized care that is right for you.