Category: Education & Resources

Recent Posts

  • Education & Resources ·

CHF & Hospice – Does it Qualify?

Congestive Heart Failure and Hospice – Does it Qualify? By: Elizabeth Townsend, RN Congestive heart failure happens when the heart muscle begins to not pump blood as it should. Conditions of congestive heart failure, such as narrowed heart arteries or continuous high blood pressure, eventually weaken the heart and make it unable to pump the blood throughout the body. This will result in fluid retention in the heart and lungs. What criteria must be met for CHF patients and hospice care? Progressive decline in status Continuous weight loss Weakness and fatigue Other uncontrolled symptoms such as shortness of breath and…
  • Education & Resources ·

Heart Failure and Hospice

Heart Failure and Hospice By: Marisol Ramirez, RN Now more than ever, it is imperative to manage serious conditions in the comfort of a patient’s home. Physicians, patients, and families can all agree that a caring and competent team is needed for optimal patient care. Under this joint effort, patient outcomes improve and overall healthcare costs lower for patients, specifically those experiencing congestive heart failure (CHF). Caring for a loved one with heart failure in hospice Making decisions for a loved one with heart failure can be difficult. You want the best care for your loved one. But how do…
  • Education & Resources ·

Hospice for Veterans with PTSD

Hospice for Veterans with PTSD By: Portia Wofford After dedicating their lives to our nation, our nation’s veterans often face difficulty as they near the end of their lives. While every veteran has different needs, those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) face unique challenges. PTSD, sometimes known as combat stress or shell shock, often occurs after a person experiences severe trauma or a life-threatening event. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the number of Veterans with PTSD, in any given year, varies by service era: Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. About 11-20% Gulf War (Desert Storm). About…
  • Awareness ·

Alzheimer’s Communication Tips

Changes in Communication As Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month continues, we want to discuss a very important topic- communication and Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, a person’s ability to communicate gradually diminishes. Changes in communication vary from person to person, but there are several common issues you can expect to see, including difficulty finding the right words and organizing words logically. Effective Communication If someone you love is living with the disease, you know it can be challenging at times to communicate with them. The video above discusses the following ten tips for effectively communicating with your loved one. Never…
  • Education & Resources ·

Hospice Eligibility Checklist for Emergency Department Staff

By Joelle Y. Jean, FNP Due to its busy nature, providers in the Emergency Room (ER) may not immediately identify patients for hospice care. Approaching patients or family members about hospice can also be challenging-especially if they have specific questions. This hospice checklist can help guide providers on when they should consider a patient for hospice. What is hospice? Hospice is for patients who are at the end of life. Patients can have a terminal illness or declining health from a chronic illness. The hospice team can coordinate care with health care providers to manage and treat patients. Benefits of…
  • Education & Resources ·

Sepsis Awareness Month: Why Our Program Actually Works

By: Portia Wofford Home health clinicians play an essential role in caring for patients who are: At risk of developing sepsis Recovering from sepsis or septic shock Home health providers are vital in preventing hospital admissions and readmission among sepsis patients. According to the CDC, sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. Many patients receiving home healthcare services have chronic medical conditions and comorbidities that put them at risk for infection, including COVID-19 and sepsis. According to the Global Sepsis Alliance, COVID-19 can cause sepsis. Research suggests that COVID-19 may lead…
  • Education & Resources ·

One Word: Hospice

One word… One word that’s the most solidifying word you will ever hear. A word that can often be misinterpreted. One word… Hospice. This means you are dying. Maybe not dying today, tomorrow or the next day – but it is a word not many want to hear. As a hospice liaison, helping people understand to not be afraid is part of what makes my job so rewarding. Watching potential patients and their family member begin to ease as I explain the role of hospice is an incredible feeling. As a hospice liaison, I help ease all your previous notions about what…
  • Education & Resources ·

Making the Hospice Decision

Before a baby is born, planning around the baby’s life begins. The parents prepare for the baby by creating a registry. Friends plan and host a baby shower. Family helps decorate the nursery. As the baby grows, the parents teach the baby, now a child, how to read. They prepare the child for kindergarten, then elementary school, then middle school, and then high school. The child, now a young adult, decides on a trade school versus entering the work force directly after high school versus college, and if college is selected, the young adults selects a major, and prepares to…
  • Education & Resources ·

Celebrating the Holidays when a Loved One is in Hospice

This time of year can be challenging for those who have a terminally ill loved one. If this friend or family member is in hospice, the holiday season may feel “off” or a little less joyous this year. While there are certainly challenges you will have to face, there are still ways you and your family can celebrate the season with your loved one in hospice. We’re here to provide you with some encouragement to navigate this time of year. Coordinate with hospice staff. Those working in hospice are not just there for the patients during this time, they are…
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  • Education & Resources ·

Life-Limiting Illnesses – When to Call Hospice

A life-limiting illness is an incurable chronic disease or condition that no longer respond to curative treatments. Examples of a life-limiting illness include: Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia Stroke ALS Parkinson’s Disease Heart Disease Pulmonary Disease Liver Disease End-stage Renal Disease AIDS Cancer A life limiting illness, coupled with symptoms below, could be indicators of decline and hospice eligibility: Frequent hospitalizations, ER visits, or visits to the physician within the last six months Progressive weight loss (with consideration to weight gain factors such as edema, when applicable) Decreasing appetite Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing Increased weakness or fatigue Decline in cognitive status…