Hospice nurses specialize in palliative care which is a special kind of care that keeps pain to a minimum and increases comfort. The nurse is the liaison between the patient and the physician and other health care professionals. The hospice nurse makes intermittent visits to monitor and evaluate the patient’s condition. The nurse provides the patient and family with information about the illness and helps manage the pain and symptoms of the disease. A Cornerstone Hospice nurse is available to our patients 24 hours each day.
The patient’s personal physician and the hospice physician work together to plan your medical care. They are always in close communication with the other members of the hospice interdisciplinary team.
Home Health Aides/Certified Nursing Assistants
Home health aides are skilled in helping the patient and caregiver with the personal care of the patient, such as personal grooming, bathing, hair and mouth care along with limited housekeeping or meal preparation. Aides provide a break for caregivers in the normal routine of personal care and they offer both physical and emotional support. Personal care services are provided to patients on an intermittent basis.
The social worker is a counselor to the patient and the family. The social worker assists the family with financial, insurance and legal issues, and helps them understand the personal and social challenges of illness, disability, and the dying process. The social worker arranges volunteer support and other available community services and resources. The social worker also assists with problem-solving in times of crisis.
Spiritual issues are an important part of the care of the patient requiring hospice care. Our non-denominational clergy discuss preferences and wishes with the patient and family members. In addition to the support provided by the patient's church or synagogue, hospice spiritual counselors help patients address life closure and the meaning of life. Assistance with memorial services and funerals is available at the family's request.
Bereavement counseling or support, an important part of Hospice Care, is provided for the patient and loved ones. Bereavement can begin during the time of care to the patient and continues after the patient has passed. After the person's death, bereavement support is offered to the families for at least one year. These services can take a variety of forms including telephone calls, visits, written materials about grieving, and support groups. Individual counseling may be offered by Hospice, or Hospice may make a referral to a community resource.
Limited physical, occupational, and speech therapies are available through Hospice to help a patient maintain comfort or quality of life. Massage therapy is available by physician order.
Hospice volunteers are members of the community who have special interests and specialized training. Volunteers provide companionship for the patient and relief for the caregiver. Volunteers are very important members of the interdisciplinary team. They listen and provide comfort and assurance through their presence and personal caring. Volunteers always respect family values, plan visits to best meet patient and family needs, strive to always be on time and give notice if unavoidably delayed, and will keep in touch through the illness and afterwards.