Offering support, comfort and care to someone at the end of life’s journey requires selflessness and compassion. However, caring for the physical, emotional, spiritual and financial needs of a loved one in hospice care may begin to feel overwhelming. To help caregivers manage some of the difficult tasks associated with providing for a loved one, resources offered through hospice care programs and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization are available to alleviate caregiver stress.
Many inpatient hospice facilities employ teams that consist of doctors, nurses, social workers, pastoral care chaplains, volunteers and bereavement counselors to offer additional support. Below is information that outlines what types of resources are often available to assist caregivers, families and loved ones.
Hospice Support Services
Services available to caregivers provided by the hospice care team while a patient is enrolled in a hospice program may include:
• Volunteer visits to help with errands or offer emotional support
• Spiritual care services
• Group therapy services
• Financial support services
• Respite visits
• Online resources through NHPCO
The type of support available to caregivers depends upon whether a loved one is undergoing care in a home environment or an inpatient hospice facility. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care organization, Medicare recognizes four different levels of hospice care: Routine Home Care, Continuous Care, General Inpatient Care and Respite Care.
Respite care is a specialized form of care that provides temporary relief to a caregiver when managing the needs of a loved one becomes too overwhelming to handle. This form of care is offered at an inpatient facility for a maximum of five consecutive days and can be invaluable to a caregiver who needs additional help or a break. Respite care may be covered under Medicare or Medicaid, but it is best to contact your insurance provider to determine eligibility requirements.
Bereavement Support Services
After a loved one has passed, many hospice care teams offer support services including:
• Phone calls from a bereavement team
• Informational mailings about grieving and loss
• In-home support visits
• Grief support groups
• Memorial services
• Memory Quilts or additional items
Good Samaritan Hospice Programs in Wexford, Cabot and Beaver provide these services as well as many others to caregivers and families when a loved one is enrolled in hospice care – whether they are inpatient or in-home care. Additionally, Good Samaritan Hospice follows families for up to 13 months after a loved one has passed to check in with the family and offer supplementary services.
For more information on the services provided through Good Samaritan Hospice, a mission of Concordia, and Concordia Hospice of Washington, call us at 724-933-8888 (GSH) or 724-250-4500 (CHOW), or contact us any time via our online contact form. If you have a question about how we can help your loved one or if you want to learn more about the different services we offer, you may also visit the care levels & services page of our website for details on a number of services we offer including Personal Care/Assisted Living, Long-Term Nursing Care, Adult Day Services and more.
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