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SERVICES

The Hospice Team is comprised of a medical director (who partners with the person's own physician), nurse practitioner, registered nurse, respiratory therapist, home health aide, social worker, chaplain, and volunteer. Hospice provides all medications related to the terminal illness as well as any medical equipment needed in the home. Hospice offers personal care assistance, counseling and therapies. Hospice Care of America provides grief counseling and support throughout the dying process. Bereavement follow-up continues with families for 13 months after the death of their loved one.

In-Home Nursing Care

Hospice Care of America will provide in-home nursing care for patients living at their own home, with a relative, or in a nursing center. Hospice Care of America patients benefit from continued managed by a registered nurse. Patients also have the option of using the 24-hour on call triage nurse. The Hospice Care of America nursing staff is professional, caring, and well equipped to evaluate a person's comfort and make recommendations for symptom management.

Personal Care Assistance

Hospice Care of America hires only professional and caring Home Health Aides. Each Home Health Aide is a Certified Nursing Assistant and specializes in end of life home health care. Hospice Care of America is proud to boast that they have some of the best Home Health Aides in the entire Northern Illinois region.

In-Home Medical Equipment

All equipment and supplies that are needed to keep a patient safe and comfortable at home or in their health care facility will be provided by Hospice Care of America.

Medications for Quality of Life

Hospice Care of America provides all prescription and over-the-counter medications that are directly related to the terminal diagnosis. Hospice Care of America does not charge their patients or family members for services. Hospice is a benefit of Medicare, Medicaid, and Private Insurance.

Caregivers Support

Being the caregiver for a terminally ill person is not an easy job. Caregivers often have feelings of exhaustion, loneliness, frustration, anger, and more. These feelings can be intensified if the person being cared for does not recognize the caregiver or may be too ill to speak or perform simple task such as feeding. Adding to the already frustrating situation, some caregivers have to endure behavioral problems, such as yelling, hitting or wandering away from home, from the person they are caring for. Stress often accompanies the day to day demands of care giving. Caregivers can experience the following:

• Feeling like they don't have anytime for themselves
• Having trouble sleeping or not wanting to get out of bed
• Having trouble eating or eating too much
• Seeing friends or relatives less often than normal
• Losing interest in hobbies or the things they used to do with family or friends
• Feeling angry at the person they are caring for or at other people or situations

These feelings are not wrong or strange. Caregiving can be very stressful and thankless. With these conditions in mind, it is important for every caregiver to remember that they must find ways to take care of themselves and stay healthy. If the caregiver becomes sick, who will care for their loved one? If you or someone you know is a caregiver and experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, please encourage them to reach out for help:

• Talk with family doctor about feelings
• Stay in touch with friends and family members. Ask them for help in giving care
• Look for help in community. Start by asking home church or synagogue about services or volunteers who can help
• Talk with hospice nurse or social worker for care options.

Skin/Wound Care

The highly trained professionals of Hospice Care of America work diligently to manage skin wounds. Each clinical member of the team is specially trained in the care of wounds that can develop when a person is facing a life limiting illness. Hospice Care of America staff members believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to live out their last days as pain free and comfortable as possible.

Counseling

Hospice Care of America provides specially trained social workers and chaplains for patients and/or their family members as needed. These counseling services are included in each patient's hospice privilege and can be helpful in preparing for the end of life. Counseling services can also be used to help mend broken relationships and bring resolution to different circumstances that a patient may be dealing with before they pass away.

Volunteer Program

Volunteers play a very important role in the day to day activities and services of Hospice Care of America. Our hospice is looking for compassionate, mature, and dedicated people to join our team of volunteers. If you think you might be that person, and would like to learn more about our program and volunteer opportunities, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (815) 316-2700.

Therapy

Hospice Care of America provides a variety of therapeutic care for those patients who qualify.

Bereavement

Hospice bereavement services, provided by qualified staff and volunteers, begin with the initial assessment and will continue through 13 months of the bereavement period. The goal is to help the patient/family cope with death related to grief and loss issues. Following the death of the patient, families will be offered support which follows an individualized bereavement care plan. Bereavement services address such issues as:

• Family grief and loss issues
• Survivor(s) needs
• Social, religious, and cultural issues
• Potential for complicated grief reactions

Speaker's Bureau

Hospice Care of America offers several different educational topics that are provided free-of-charge and taught by trained, professional staff members. These classes can be tailored in time and specifics to the needs of the hosting group. The following are suggested topics:


Grief Related to the Dying Process

Practical, insightful advice for staff providing emotional support to residents and families dealing with death as well as coping strategies for caregivers who anticipate and suffer the loss of beloved residents.


End-of-Life Spiritual Needs

Thoughtful examination of the spiritual needs of individuals who are dying in light of our own views about mortality. Discussion of ways to comfort residents that are not awkward or threatening for them or for us.


Physical/Mental Changes at the End of Life

A frank discussion about the symptoms and signs that precede death. Ways to decrease pain and promote mental, physical, and emotional comfort and dignity throughout the dying process.


When Is It Time for Hospice?

Information about how and when an individual qualifies for hospice benefits. Answers to the most frequently asked questions about hospice as well as questions from the audience.


The Last Hours of Living: Practical Advice to Caregivers

This in-service provides a comprehensive overview of the last hours of life, focusing on the assessment and management of common physical symptoms and syndromes near the time of death. This activity is intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, students and others who care for patients during their last hours of life. Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to: assist families to prepare for the last hours of life, and manage the physiological changes of dying.

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