Ellen, 67, has incurable lung cancer. She wants professional assistance to prepare her and her family for death, and wants to be cared for at home by her sister. The local hospice organization provides services to make this possible. The staff makes sure the family has the appropriate equipment, and provides training in basic care and management. A registered nurse visits to oversee care, plus consults with the doctor to make sure Ellen is comfortable. A bath attendant visits twice a week, and the hospice social worker and chaplain provide counseling for Ellen and her family.
What is Hospice care?
Hospice programs provide care and support to individuals and families coping with a terminal illness. Nurses and other medical and home-health personnel, and social workers provide pain relief, symptom management and supportive services.
Services are provided in the home, under a doctor’s direction and in cooperation with a designated caregiver. Arrangement for inpatient care is made when needed. Hospice staff assist the caregiver in caring for the individual; hospice care is usually available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and requires a physician’s order.
Who do I call for more information?
Hospice agencies are located across Kansas. To learn what is available in your area, call the Association of Kansas Hospices at 800-767-4965. You may also contact the Area Agency on Aging or your physician for more information. Two web sites for further information are www.lifeproject.org and www.lastacts.org.