A great myth about hospice is that it is a place to go when nothing else can be done in the face of terminal illness. Hospice is not a place; it is a philosophy of care that helps those experience their end of life journey with comfort and dignity.
Entrusted with the care of individuals and families, Liberty understands the importance of offering compassionate care during all stages of aging. To our continuum of care, Liberty Lutheran recently added Liberty Hospice that respects and responds to the unique differences in lifestyle, values and wishes of the patients we serve, their families and caregivers.
“One of the tenets of hospice is the belief and recognition that dying is a normal process, whether or not it results from disease,” says Nicole Curran, Director of Liberty Hospice. “The hospice philosophy is to affirm life and give support to the patient and family so they can live as fully and comfortably as possible. It’s also a personal decision between the patient and family.”
Hospice is not only for patients with a cancer diagnosis, hospice serves people with a wide variety of illnesses, including: cardiac, renal and neurological disease; Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias; ALS and pulmonary disease. The clinical care and support services provided by Liberty Hospice are tailored to meet the unique needs that can accompany a specific diagnosis and are palliative in nature not curative.
The Liberty Hospice multidisciplinary team of professionals is available 24/7. The team includes: a physician, registered nurse case manager, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, bereavement specialist, and volunteers. The patient and the family are both included in the development of the care plan, which encompasses the physical, psycho-social, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient.
“When I was a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit, I witnessed the death of many patients who died without the presence of their family,” says Nicole. “Our Hospice team helps prepare patients and their families for the end of life. It also offers support and presence to ease suffering during this intimate and individual journey, providing dignity and quality of life.”
To learn more about how to discuss the hospice concept with your loved one, or which insurances cover hospice care call our intake counselor at 844-651-5111.
This is one of many stories featured in the spring 2014 At Liberty newsletter. Click here to check out our interactive, digital newsletter with other amazing stories from the Liberty family of services.