Calvert Hospice http://calverthospice.org Thu, 07 Dec 2017 20:20:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Hospice Use Provides Financial Benefits to Medicare and to Patients http://calverthospice.org/financial-benefits-of-hospice/ http://calverthospice.org/financial-benefits-of-hospice/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 08:00:55 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1348 By: Amanda Peterson Did you know that hospice utilization saves Medicare approximately $2,300 per patient who uses the service? (Taylor et al. 1474). You might think that savings is from the lack of care patients receive, but you would be wrong. Hospice patients receive regular, personalized care once they start receiving services; however, the nature Read more »

The post Hospice Use Provides Financial Benefits to Medicare and to Patients appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
By: Amanda Peterson

Did you know that hospice utilization saves Medicare approximately $2,300 per patient who uses the service? (Taylor et al. 1474). You might think that savings is from the lack of care patients receive, but you would be wrong. Hospice patients receive regular, personalized care once they start receiving services; however, the nature of that care is drastically different from what patients receive who choose other treatments. Instead of chemotherapy, hospice patients receive medications and interventions that make them comfortable. Instead of dialysis, hospice patients are made comfortable in their home. Instead of painful surgeries with mixed results, hospice patients live out their lives with family and friends with their symptoms managed and their physical, spiritual, and emotional needs met.

How is it that such personal, individualized care that requires a whole team of experts to accomplish actually saves Medicare money? And why does that matter? The answer affects everyone, whether they currently receive Medicare  benefits or not. End-of-life care and care for terminal diseases is expensive, especially when patients require stays in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or make repeated visits to the Emergency Room (ER). Too often, when a patient has a terminal illness, those visits often turn into hospital admissions, especially as diseases progress and patients are unable to care for themselves. As they continue to decline, it becomes impossible for them to return home because the life extending care they need can only be provided in the hospital. Soon one procedure becomes another, which leads to yet another. Lines and tubes may become infected, patients can develop skin infections from remaining in bed all the time, and bacteria like Clostridium difficile (known as C. diff) run rampant and make patients miserable.

In Taylor et al., the researchers found that the amount spent per patient over the last year of life is roughly the same for both patients who use hospice services and those who don’t. However, in looking at that year in detail, they found that most hospice patients had a spike in expenditures in the week before hospice admission, often due to a costly hospitalization that prompts the discussion about a terminal diagnosis. Those costs drop after hospice admission and remain lower until the final week of life (1475-76). Cancer patients who receive hospice care for 58-103 days actually save Medicare closer to $7,000, which is a significant savings that should be capitalized on more frequently (Taylor et al. 1474).

As the researchers state, “Given that hospice has been widely demonstrated to improve quality of life of patients and family members (Christakis & Iwashyna, 2003; Higginson, Finlay, & Goodwin et al.,2003; Wallston, Burger, & Smith et al., 1988 qtd. in Taylor et al.), the Medicare program appears to have a rare situation whereby something that improves quality of life also appears to reduce costs” (Taylor et al. 1474-75). Hospice patients receive the care they need in their homes with friends and family there to support them. Medicare pays for the medicine and supplies they need to deal with their terminal illness, which can include medications like Morphine or Lorazepam, a hospital bed, oxygen, shower chairs, and more. Because hospice is a Medicare benefit, these are available without any copays or deductibles, which saves patients and family members a lot of money. It provides just one more reason why choosing hospice early in a diagnosis benefits both patients and the government agency that regulates its use.

After a patient’s death, hospice bereavement services step in to offer comfort and support to their families. Family members are given the support they need to care for patients throughout the end of their lives, and they continue to receive support afterwards, which is unheard of in the medical community. Add the cost saving benefits to Medicare, and it becomes a mystery why more people don’t choose hospice care after receiving a terminal diagnosis.

Not only are hospice patients costing Medicare less money and spending less on their medical care, they are living full lives up to the very end, surrounded by friends and family, enjoying the things that make them happy, and making lasting memories with the people they love. Medicare truly does have something unique in its hospice benefit if people will only utilize it to its fullest potential.

Works Cited

Taylor, Donald, J. Ostermann, C. Van Houtven, J. Tulsky, K. Steinhauser. “What Length of Hospice Use Maximizes Reduction in Medical Expenditures Near Death in the US Medicare Program?” Social Science and Medicine 65.7 (2007): 1466-1478. Web. 7 Jan. 2017.

The post Hospice Use Provides Financial Benefits to Medicare and to Patients appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/financial-benefits-of-hospice/feed/ 1
The Ideal Medical Specialty http://calverthospice.org/ideal-medical-specialty/ http://calverthospice.org/ideal-medical-specialty/#respond Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:00:30 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1345 By: Amanda Peterson Consider for a moment what the ideal medical specialty might look like in practice. Doctors who visit you at home? Nurses on call 24/7 to answer questions or visit in the case of crisis? Care that is individualized to you and your specific situation? Help and support for your family? What might Read more »

The post The Ideal Medical Specialty appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
By: Amanda Peterson

Consider for a moment what the ideal medical specialty might look like in practice. Doctors who visit you at home? Nurses on call 24/7 to answer questions or visit in the case of crisis? Care that is individualized to you and your specific situation? Help and support for your family? What might medical care in America look like if this specialty existed?

You may be surprised, but there is a medical specialty that includes all of these items and more: hospice. Yes, I said hospice, the care you receive when you have a terminal illness. Did you know that every patient who chooses hospice care has access to a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, home health aide, and a volunteer if they desire it? This interdisciplinary team, as it is called, focuses on providing holistic care to every patient who comes into hospice. Patients can pick and choose from the list to suit their own personal preferences and needs. If a person is not religious and does not want to see a chaplain, they don’t have to; if they change their mind as death approaches and they’re experiencing spiritual angst, the chaplain will come and provide comfort and counsel.

Hospice physicians and nurses are experts in pain and symptom management, and they begin working from day one to get a patient’s pain and discomfort under control. Every patient’s medication profile is different because each patient is treated as an individual, not as a disease or a number. Nurses visit approximately once a week, seeing patients wherever they call home, whether that is at a nursing home, assisted living facility, or their own house. Those visits are not a standard medical visit; rather, the nurse spends time talking with both the patient and family, assessing medical needs but also checking on their emotional status, spiritual needs, and physical needs. They bring these observations back to the team, and together they assess whether any changes need to be made. These changes could be an increase or decrease in medication, spiritual distress that needs to be dealt with, final arrangements that their social worker needs to help with, physical needs that could be met by either a home health aide or a hospice volunteer, and more.

Each part of the interdisciplinary team has an important function in caring for hospice patients. Social workers are there to help with emotional support and the family dynamics that so often accompany terminal illness and approaching death. Chaplains are there to support existing spiritual beliefs and to help patients and family members process what they are experiencing. Home health aides provide help with all the tasks of daily living that become difficult as disease progresses; this may include helping with showers or baths, changing bedding, doing laundry or dishes, or helping with other tasks around the home. Volunteers are there to provide companionship to patients and respite for caregivers who need to get out of the house. Combined with the expert pain and symptom management provided by the hospice physician and nurses, hospice patients truly have a team of people focused on every aspect of their care. Is it any wonder that a study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2010 found that terminal lung cancer patients who utilized palliative care and hospice services lived 25% longer than those who didn’t? (Gawande 178).

Since such a specialty exists, why don’t more people choose to utilize it and reap the benefits offered? The answer is complicated: we are a society that denies death for as long as possible, our doctors don’t want to admit failure, families don’t want to “give up,” and the list goes on and on. The truth of the matter is that terminal illnesses exist, and unfortunately, people are going to continue receiving these difficult diagnoses. The question becomes whether we will encourage our loved ones to call the people who can help when they receive that difficult diagnosis.

Works Cited

Gawande, Atul. Being Mortal. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2014. Print.

The post The Ideal Medical Specialty appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/ideal-medical-specialty/feed/ 0
Bridges Support Group: Help for Grieving Children and Family Members http://calverthospice.org/bridges-support-group-help-grieving-children-family-members/ http://calverthospice.org/bridges-support-group-help-grieving-children-family-members/#respond Fri, 27 Jan 2017 08:00:52 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1324 Our next session of Bridges Support Group starts on February 23 and will run for 8 consecutive Thursday evenings. The group is for children ages 6 – 17 and their adult family members who are grieving a loss. Children spend time with others in their age group and have the opportunity to share with kids Read more »

The post Bridges Support Group: Help for Grieving Children and Family Members appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
Our next session of Bridges Support Group starts on February 23 and will run for 8 consecutive Thursday evenings. The group is for children ages 6 – 17 and their adult family members who are grieving a loss. Children spend time with others in their age group and have the opportunity to share with kids who understand. They participate in a variety of creative activities, learn coping skills, learn how to support their friends and family members, and share memories of their loved one.

Adult family members meet at the same time that the children do, and they receive tools and skills that help them cope. They have opportunities to share with others who understand and learn how to provide the proper support to their children throughout the grieving process.

Please enjoy our SlideShare about the program!

If you know of anyone who might benefit from attending Bridges, please visit our Children’s Programs page and download the application. We are always available to answer any questions you might have. Contact Brittanny Petrzala, Child & Teen Bereavement Coordinator, at (410) 535-0892 ext. 2206 or bpetrzala@calverthospice.org.

The post Bridges Support Group: Help for Grieving Children and Family Members appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/bridges-support-group-help-grieving-children-family-members/feed/ 0
2016 in Review http://calverthospice.org/2016-in-review/ http://calverthospice.org/2016-in-review/#respond Fri, 30 Dec 2016 17:04:06 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1279 2016 has been a busy year for Calvert Hospice! We appreciate each and every person who has supported us by entrusting loved ones to our care, reaching out to us with questions, attending our events and educational seminars, participating in various community events put on by supporters, and helping us spread the word about hospice Read more »

The post 2016 in Review appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
2016 has been a busy year for Calvert Hospice! We appreciate each and every person who has supported us by entrusting loved ones to our care, reaching out to us with questions, attending our events and educational seminars, participating in various community events put on by supporters, and helping us spread the word about hospice in Calvert County. It is our sincere privilege to serve patients and families throughout the end of life. This post highlights just a few things we will fondly remember as we say good-bye to 2016 and welcome 2017 this weekend.

Compassionate care for patients and their families

We cared for more than 300 patients in 2016. Each patient was offered a nurse, social worker, chaplain, home health aide, and volunteer, and families were offered bereavement services after a loved one passed away. Most patients were cared for in their homes, but we also served many at the Burnett Calvert Hospice House and all of the local nursing homes.

We Honor Veterans program

Our We Honor Veterans program continued to grow this year. We now have over 20 volunteers trained to perform Salute Ceremonies for our veteran patients. We have veterans and active duty military members from the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps, and National Guard who help us honor our veterans at end of life. They allow us to provide patients who served our country with a final honor from fellow veterans.

New volunteers

We continue to recruit and train new volunteers who serve our patients and families, help in our offices, work with grieving children, staff our Shoppe for Hospice, and provide pet therapy to patients at the Burnett Calvert Hospice House. Over 25 people completed volunteer training this year! We are so thankful to each and every person who has chosen to volunteer their time to hospice.

Community support

So many people supported us through donations, event attendance, business promotions, and community events! We are so blessed to have such support from our community. From fundraisers thrown by individuals to Paint & Pizza nights at the Brick, there was something for everyone who wanted to jump in and provide some financial support to help us achieve our mission.

Support for our fundraising efforts

With your help, we had three successful fundraisers this year: the Culinary Event at Running Hare Vineyard, the Luau for Calvert Hospice at Stoney’s Broomes Island, and the Festival of Wreaths at the College of Southern Maryland. Because of you, each of these events allowed us to raise much needed funds for operation of the Burnett Calvert Hospice House. We also welcomed our first Hospice Partner in 2016: Medart Galleries. We look forward to adding more partners in 2017 and growing our relationship with Medart Galleries!

Education about hospice

We offered three different Educational Seminars at Calvert Memorial Hospital: VA Benefits, Having the Conversation, and Support for Caregivers. We want to thank all who attended, and we hope that you gleaned some useful information about end-of-life issues. We will continue to offer the seminars in 2017, which will be FREE! Please visit our Educational Seminars page here to learn more about sessions for 2017.

We would like to offer our sincere thanks to every person who has offered support to us this year. We couldn’t do what we do without you. Thank you for helping us make the most of every moment with our patients and their families.

The post 2016 in Review appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/2016-in-review/feed/ 0
A New Family Tradition http://calverthospice.org/new-family-tradition/ http://calverthospice.org/new-family-tradition/#respond Fri, 18 Nov 2016 12:00:48 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1179 Tomorrow marks the beginning of what we hope will become a family tradition for many of you in Calvert County. We are so pleased to be able to offer our first annual Festival of Wreaths on November 19 from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free, which is just one of the many things Read more »

The post A New Family Tradition appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
Tomorrow marks the beginning of what we hope will become a family tradition for many of you in Calvert County. We are so pleased to be able to offer our first annual Festival of Wreaths on November 19 from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free, which is just one of the many things that makes this a perfect opportunity for families to come kick off the holiday season with hospice! Here are just a few of the things you can look forward to tomorrow:

Beautifully decorated wreaths for sale

We have more than 60 wreaths that have been decorated and donated for us to sell. Prices range from $35 to $100, so there should be something to fit your particular budget and personal style. Come early so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to buy your favorite!

Wreath Making Workshops

Want the opportunity to make your own holiday decoration? We are offering two wreath making workshops at 11 am and 2 pm. Cost is $30 and includes instruction and all the materials you’ll need to make a beautiful wreath. Bring a friend and do it together!

Activities for the Kids

Santa will arrive at the Festival of Wreaths on a fire truck at 10:30 am, and you don’t want to miss it! We will have visits with Santa all day, and your kids can stop by our craft area and make some fun holiday crafts to help you decorate for the season.

We hope that you will come out and support this new event!

The post A New Family Tradition appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/new-family-tradition/feed/ 0
Honoring our Veterans http://calverthospice.org/honoring-our-veterans/ http://calverthospice.org/honoring-our-veterans/#respond Fri, 11 Nov 2016 12:00:49 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1149 The post Honoring our Veterans appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
WHV listicle

The post Honoring our Veterans appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/honoring-our-veterans/feed/ 0
National Hospice and Palliative Care Month http://calverthospice.org/national-hospice-palliative-care-month/ http://calverthospice.org/national-hospice-palliative-care-month/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2016 19:59:31 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1145 November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospices across the country are reaching out to raise awareness about the highest quality care for all people coping with life-limiting illness. “At Calvert Hospice we want everyone to know they can call us any time. If you’re not sure what to do to care for Read more »

The post National Hospice and Palliative Care Month appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
Click here to see how you can support us this month!

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospices across the country are reaching out to raise awareness about the highest quality care for all people coping with life-limiting illness.

“At Calvert Hospice we want everyone to know they can call us any time. If you’re not sure what to do to care for a loved one and feel alone, we’re only a phone call away. We help patients and their families make the most of every moment for weeks and months. The longer we’re with together, the more we can help,” says Jean Fleming, EdD, RN, Executive Director for Calvert Hospice.

Hospice is not a place. Hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families when a cure is not possible.

Hospice and palliative care combines the highest level of quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing the end of life. Through this specialized quality care, we see many patients and their families experience more meaningful moments together.  Hospice helps them focus on living despite a terminal diagnosis.

Throughout the month of November, Calvert Hospice will be joining organizations across the nation hosting activities that will help the community understand how important hospice and palliative care can be.

Visit our calendar to see how you can support Calvert Hospice this month!

The post National Hospice and Palliative Care Month appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/national-hospice-palliative-care-month/feed/ 1
Five Ways Hospice Can Help http://calverthospice.org/five-ways-hospice-can-help/ http://calverthospice.org/five-ways-hospice-can-help/#comments Sat, 22 Oct 2016 01:00:12 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1085 The vast majority of Americans say what they want at the end of life is to die in their own homes, as comfortable and pain-free as possible. The hospice philosophy is about making sure that a patient’s death experience reflects their wishes. Here are five ways that hospice helps to deliver this: Hospice gives you Read more »

The post Five Ways Hospice Can Help appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
The vast majority of Americans say what they want at the end of life is to die in their own homes, as comfortable and pain-free as possible. The hospice philosophy is about making sure that a patient’s death experience reflects their wishes. Here are five ways that hospice helps to deliver this:

Hospice gives you comfort. Hospices are experts at managing life- limiting illness. The hospice team ensures that medication, therapies and treatments all support a care plan that is centered on the patient’s goals. And hospice services can be offered wherever the patient calls home, allowing friends and family to visit freely—something they might not be able to do in a hospital ICU setting.

more comfort

Hospice gives you peace. Beyond physical relief, hospice strives to help patients and families find emotional and spiritual comfort during what is often a very  traumatic time. Hospice organizations are able to provide families with counselors, therapists, spiritual care advisors and bereavement professionals who can best support their struggles with death and grieving. These services are part of the hospice benefit, covered by Medicare, Medicaid or most private insurances.

 

more peace

Hospice gives you something extra. Hospice is not only about compassionate medical care and control of pain. Art and music therapists inspire joy; pet therapy and massages are offered at many programs as well.

more joy

Hospice gives caregivers guidance. Most families are not prepared to face the death of a loved one. In addition to caring for patients, hospice also offers services  for families and loved  ones that provide emotional support and   advice  to help family members become confident caregivers and adjust to the future with grief  support for up to a year.

more support

Hospice gives you more. Be it more joy, more love, or more quality of life in general, the goal of hospice is to offer patients the ability to enjoy the time they have remaining, and create meaningful memories for their families.

Hospice offers more moments of life.

more moments

 

Learn more at www.MomentsofLife.org

Article from: National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (www.nhpco.org)

 

 

 

The post Five Ways Hospice Can Help appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/five-ways-hospice-can-help/feed/ 5
Learn What Hospice Care Really Means to Patients and their Families http://calverthospice.org/what-hospice-means/ http://calverthospice.org/what-hospice-means/#comments Fri, 07 Oct 2016 01:00:03 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1082 What makes a good death? This is a question that many people prefer not to think about in their day-to-day lives. However, for patients facing an uncertain future, it is an extremely relevant reality. The answer can vary from person to person, depending on individual personalities, interests and desires. However, for most people, a good Read more »

The post Learn What Hospice Care Really Means to Patients and their Families appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
What makes a good death? This is a question that many people prefer not to think about in their day-to-day lives. However, for patients facing an uncertain future, it is an extremely relevant reality. The answer can vary from person to person, depending on individual personalities, interests and desires. However, for most people, a good death is quite simple. It means being physically comfortable, at peace in your own home, surrounded by your loved ones doing the things you love to do up until the very end. These essential details are made possible by hospice care.

Hospice, by definition, is a team-oriented approach to providing specialized care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. It includes expert medical care, pain management and emotional support for patients and their families. But more simply, hospice care supports living one’s life to the fullest with dignity regardless of how much time remains.

Seven in 10 Americans said they would prefer to die at home according to a Time/CNN Poll. Statistics show that 25 percent actually do according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a recent national survey, the overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that expertise in keeping a terminally-ill patient as comfortable and as pain-free as possible is the single most important service to consider when caring for a loved one and the end-of-life experience. This is the essence of hospice care.

One of the great myths of hospice, for many who have not experienced it, is that hospice patients are merely lying in a bed, barely conscious. This is not the case. When a patient is admitted at an appropriate time, hospice care can improve his or her quality of life. Research shows that health care providers feel responsible to discuss hospice with their patients when the time is right, as it provides a kind of care that they are unable to give. Nearly three-fourths of family caregivers agree that hospice care is a better choice for a terminally ill patient. Of this group, 69 percent believe that involvement in hospice makes a better impact on the patient’s family as well.

Another hospice myth is that families lose control over what happens to their loved ones. The facts are that a family is generally able to choose their preferred hospice provider for a loved one, and can be trained to serve as a primary caregiver, with a specialist to provide support when needed. It is the unique nature of hospice that allows for the feeling of family and comfort to become embedded and vital in the patient’s care. This concept of more family interaction explains the overall goal of hospice – creating more moments of life before a life is over.

Hospice enables moments and memories that would otherwise not occur. It is the quality of these final moments, after all, that can define a “good death.”

It’s never too soon to explore your end-of-life options. To find a hospice or learn more about hospices in your area, visit Moments of Life at www.MomentsOfLife.org.

Article from: National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (www.nhpco.org)

The post Learn What Hospice Care Really Means to Patients and their Families appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/what-hospice-means/feed/ 3
Introducing the Festival of Wreaths! http://calverthospice.org/festival-of-wreaths-announce/ http://calverthospice.org/festival-of-wreaths-announce/#respond Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:00:42 +0000 http://calverthospice.org/?p=1066 For 27 years, residents of Calvert County came out on Thanksgiving weekend to support Calvert Hospice at the Festival of Trees. Over the years, they were treated to a variety of vendors, thousands of trees decorated in different themes, Santa, and more. The venue changed several times, as did the features and faces. However, after Read more »

The post Introducing the Festival of Wreaths! appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
For 27 years, residents of Calvert County came out on Thanksgiving weekend to support Calvert Hospice at the Festival of Trees. Over the years, they were treated to a variety of vendors, thousands of trees decorated in different themes, Santa, and more. The venue changed several times, as did the features and faces. However, after the 2015 festival, it was time for the Festival of Trees to light its last tree and become a fond memory in the hearts of county residents, which left a hole in the community. What could be done to fill the hole and serve the community who had come to rely on this event every year as a way to jump start the holiday season?

We thought long and hard about what we could do to serve the community in a new and fresh way while still honoring the tradition started by the Festival of Trees. The idea for a Festival of Wreaths was born and continued to grow until we had a date, venue, and plan.

We are so pleased to announce that our very first Festival of Wreaths will be held on Saturday, November 19 from 10 am – 6 pm.

The event will feature:

  • Beautifully decorated wreaths donated by local businesses and artists – all for sale!
  • A wreath making workshop you can attend for a small fee
  • Visits with Santa for the kids
  • Crafts you can do with the kids
  • Local entertainment
  • A wonderful time for your family to share together
  • FREE admission!

We hope that you will make plans to join us for what promises to be a great new way to kick off the holidays!

If you have questions about the event, visit our Festival of Wreaths page on our website or email FOW@calverthospice.org.

FOW slider image

The post Introducing the Festival of Wreaths! appeared first on Calvert Hospice.

]]>
http://calverthospice.org/festival-of-wreaths-announce/feed/ 0