Hospice is a special healthcare option for patients and families who are faced with a terminal illness. A multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, bereavement counselors and volunteers work together to address the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of each resident and family.
The Long Island State Veterans Home partners with Good Shepherd Hospice to provide hospice care. Good Shepherd Hospice aims to provide medical, emotional and spiritual care for people whose life expectancy is less than 6 months, as well support for their families. Hospice care focuses on quality of life and symptom management rather than treatments aimed at curing advanced illness.
In a nursing home setting, hospice helps patients, families, and nursing home staff by providing:
- Regular visits by a hospice Registered Nurse to the nursing home.
- Consultations by a specialized hospice physician as needed.
- Expert management of pain and other symptoms, such as problems breathing or swallowing.
- Education for nursing home staff, patients and families about patients’ condition, symptoms, medications, and how to best care for patients’ medical needs during this phase of their illness.
- Emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and their family during this phase of life. This includes help for the family before and after the patient dies.
- Provides medications and supplies related to the patient’s terminal illness.
- Coordinating the patient’s care and medications across all of the patient’s medical providers, including the Veterans Home’s doctors, hospice doctors, hospice nurses, hospice aides and all nursing home staff.