Palliative care is the treatment of comfort care administered to patients when they are enrolled in any hospice program, and can be received during any stage of the disease process. Patients receiving palliative care within a hospice program can receive services at home as well as an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, and board and care facility.
What is hospice? Hospice is a philosophy of care focused on comfort and quality of life, intended to give seriously ill patients and their loved ones meaningful time together when the focus is on the people, not the disease. Hospice care begins after someone has exhausted all treatments for a cure and has been given a prognosis of six months or less to live as a result.
Hospice is “comfort care,” meaning it aggressively treats pain and other symptoms without trying to cure the illness. It is a whole package of care services that is almost always provided at the patient’s home, whether that’s a private residence or a care facility.
The cost for living in an assisted living facility or board and care are usually out-of-pocket expenses. A skilled nursing facility can be funded through insurance, or it will be an out-of-pocket expense as well. Ask us about the latter.
The entire duration during the end-of-life process is most difficult for everyone involved to reconcile and cope with. Grief is experienced in many stages from the beginning of the process until the end, and beyond that point.
Our staff understands and has vast knowledge of this dynamic, and are prepared to fully support every person involved in the care process. Our supportive care staff will be available to listen and assist with counseling at any time, as we do not want anyone to suffer grief in silence and/or alone. Grief comes in different stages and incarnations, and we will use our professional training and experience to help those in need to cope in the most healthy way possible through education and direct counseling.
We also provide bereavement services to loved ones after our patients pass. The hospice process is a journey HolistiCare feels we all, patients, loved ones, and hospice staff take together. However, the journey does not when someone dies, and there is a continuation of support from us for the bereaved, or loved ones left behind. Our bereavement services can be direct, by phone or with outside sources referred by our staff. The method is of your choosing. At the time of the first contact, we will coordinate on frequency and type of contact.
Bereavement services are available up to 13 months after a patient dies, but can and will be extended based upon need.
HolistiCare puts the needs of patients and families first. We know you want to return home to the people and things you love, and we have the resources to make that happen.
HolistiCare has everything you need to make your transition from hospital to home as seamless as possible. You’ll have the confidence of knowing your home is ready with the equipment and supplies you need, and also that it continues to feel like your home despite of the equipment. Equipment that has been carefully inspected, prepped and tested, and adheres to manufacturers’ guidelines will be supplied to you to ensure your comfort at home.
Music Therapists are Board Certified with the MT-BC credential, and have completed university-level course work in music principles and theory, psychology, anatomy and physiology, counseling and bereavement.
Our Music Therapist clinically engage our patients through music intervention to achieve therapeutic goals addressing their physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. While they are welcome, if they are able, patients do not need to be able to actively participate, or have a prior musical background or interest in music to fully benefit from music therapy.
Our Music Therapist will successfully adapt to every patient’s environment, using that patient or family’s preferred music of choice, or using music that acclimates best to serve the need of the patient or family during visits.
USES FOR MUSIC THERAPY
• Depression, isolation and loneliness
• Anger and agitation
• Inappropriate coping skills
• Behavior management
• Limited range of motion
• Fear and anxiety
• Sorrow, hopelessness and bereavement
• Family communication breakdowns
• Unresolved life issues
• Pain management
• Respiratory distress
• Spiritual concerns
HOW MUSIC THERAPY HELPS
• Focus on assets and positive experiences
• Identify and express emotions
• Life review with assessment of actions
• Increased socialization
• Maintain/improve physical comfort
• Permit discussion around death/dying issues
• Assessment of physical/mental capabilities
• Support independent thinking/decision making
• Develop effective coping skills
• Gain insight into problems/situations
• Mood management
• Provide distraction during difficult situations/procedures
• Muscle relaxation
• Regain sense of control
• Pain relief
EXAMPLES OF TECHNIQUES USED
• Singing/instrumental work
• Guided imagery
• Song writing
• Music relaxation
• Drum work
• Breath work
• Rhythmic movement
One of the greatest gifts we can give to an extremely ill loved one is personal care. There is great responsibility in serving our loved ones in this way, but there is also the real risk of physical and mental breakdown. This is where the option of respite comes into play.
Respite is giving a caregiver relief in any way that is best for their own well-being, and gives the best service for that person who is in need of care. There are different levels of respite available:
Temporary respite - Patients are relocated to a facility for 5 days to allow caregivers to rest, travel, etc. Our office will locate the facility, starting with locations nearest to our patient's home, and arrange transportation to-and-from the facility, if the patient cannot viably travel without needing special assistance. The respite is part of the Hospice benefit and comes as no cost to the patient or family, and no arrangements are made until the patient and family fully agrees on the facility and respite itself.
Permanent respite - When caregiving has taken an immeasurable toll on someone and that person cannot handle the responsibility any more, the need is permanent respite. Our office will find a permanent residence for your loved one, which is again only arranged when patient and family agrees the facility is satisfactory.
**Unlike the short-term hospice option, this option is based upon patient/family payments, which can be done by patient's having Medi-Cal (in California) or paying the facility out-of-pocket.
Short-term respite - There are times when caregivers need to go out for an appointment, or experience the warmth of the sun, or be in an environment outside of the home for a short while. We can supply that relief for our caregiver with either one of our valued volunteers or staff. With enough notice, we can usually fill that need and sit with our patient while caregivers fulfill their own needs, which is important for continued good mental and physical health.
***Agreeing to any type of respite is sometimes unnerving, and we realize this as such. However, there is great courage in asking for rest or admitting that doing this type of care is too much, which in turn will help us find that resource who will continue to give great care in your absence. It is not that you have given up, but have given someone the gift of continued wonderful care.
Through our Volunteer program, HolistiCare is proud to say we employ the best network of selfless citizens who have committed their time to serve our patients' social and emotional needs, as well as give respite to those caregivers who are in need of a break away from their caregiving responsibility. Our volunteers are trained and oriented through our extensive training program, and will be background-checked and immunized for transferrable illnesses before being employed with patients and their loved ones.
In many cases, one of the most important factors for someone in end-of-life care is socialization. Continuing to have value as a human being while staring down an illness that is causing us immeasurable pain and/or discomfort, and has also threatened to shorten our life as a result, is difficult.
Our volunteers use our agency's training and their natural socialization abilities to help our patients have a strong quality of life. Volunteers are also available to give respite or relief to caregivers. There are times when caregivers have their own needs and cannot find a substitute caregiving option. Our volunteers are available to sit with patients until a caregiver's personal needs have been completed. Usually these needs can be met with enough notice prior to the need, and sometimes with little notice, which will be contingent on the availability of our volunteers at that time.
**If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for our patients, please contact our office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
HolistiCare of America is proud to be partnering with We Honor Veterans (WHV). We Honor Veterans is a joint effort between the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uniquely concentrated on increasing the access to and improving the quality of hospice care given to our nation’s military veterans and their families.
The experiences of these men and women are extremely unique and require service of care tailored to their past experiences. We honor our hospice veterans not only through compassionate care, but also through ceremony, which allows us to directly show recognition and give thanks for sacrifices made for the freedoms we enjoy because of their efforts.
We honor our veterans through a pinning ceremony. Our staff honors our veteran patients in their homes, in the presence of family, and express our gratitude and recognition with a plaque unique to We Honor Veterans and HolistiCare of America, and a pin which is directly affixed to our patient and family members as mementos to this moment.
As a WHV partner, we are committed to continually seek out education for ourselves to best serve our veterans, grow our involvement within the veteran community, and reach this program’s highest level of distinction. This will ensure our undisputed ability to provide excellent care for our veterans during, arguably, their most challenging battle.
Every life has seminal moments, and those moments build towards a legacy, or something left behind for loved ones to cultivate, hold on to for themselves, and/or pass along to younger generations.
We respect the richness of every life we personally serve, and feel every life should be honored. Our staff will collaborate with our patients and loves ones to create a wonderful legacy experience that will fondly live on in the memories of all participants.
They are not just activities to create lasting experiences, but can also be used in a therapeutic sense. Many patients become aware of their individual diagnosis, which normally for most is an extremely traumatic experience. In learning about any terminal diagnosis, it is human nature for most people to postpone living the rest of their life until life ends.
Legacy projects empowers our patients to be involved in activities and express their skills, memories and thoughts to the best of their individual abilities. The experience through the entire process is memorable, and when everything is done, the result is priceless.
The importance of touch is usually discounted as an important method in providing comfort to patients, and unfortunately goes unopened as a gift wasted. Our Touch of Kindness embraces the importance of touch in comfort care, while giving our patients another dynamic way to be supported, and person to be supported by.
Our trained practitioners will bridge building rapport towards giving patients comfort through an underused holistic therapy. An environment will be set for mood with therapeutic oils, music (if someone wants) and lighting according to what the patient is comfortable with. The goal is to relieve pain and any emotional needs patients may have existing at the time of the touch service. Touch of Kindness can be scheduled on a weekly basis, or based on when it is agreed upon. An assessment will be done prior to the first session to set an environment that matches patients' comfort zones, and sessions will be performed as long as they are wanted. Practitioners are also willing to teach caregivers and loved ones, so the touch is not just implemented when we are present.
Home Health Care allows recovery at home through excellent specialized care and treatments developed and individualized to each patient. With this care plan in place, our skilled therapists, nurses and aides collaborate and work together to help patients reach their optimum level of functioning.
Most hospitalized patients' primary goal is to be sent home as soon as possible to recover and recuperate. For some, there will be the need for specialized care by skilled professional to help patients achieve maximum recovery. HolistiCare's caregivers will not only commit fully to the task of one's recuperation, but treat and serve each patient with respect and with careful attention to detail.
Our excellent team of home health care professionals include: Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Home Health Aides, Certified Nurses’ Assistants, Medical Social Workers.
Our Home Services include:
• Skilled Nursing
• Medical Management
• Physical/Occupational/Speech Therapy
• Wound Care and Dressing Changes
• Catheter Care
• Ostomy Care
• Intravenous Fluid/Medication
• Vital Signs Monitoring
• Diabetes Management
• Medication Management
• Team Approach to Care