South Florida Hospital News
Friday February 26, 2021
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June 2005 - Volume 1 - Issue 11
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No Place Like Home

We spend much of our life at home or looking forward to going home – the familiar place that gives us the most comfort. Whether it is going home after school or work, enjoying days off, or relaxing during our retirement years, home is where we want to be – with our family, friends and possessions. The comforts of home become even more important for many at the end of life.

Hospice care began as a grassroots, volunteer-based organization to provide care in a patient’s home when he or she is dealing with a life-limiting illness. For more than 25 years, Hospice of Palm Beach County (HPBC) has provided services to patients and families with the goal of helping them to remain at home. "Home" has expanded over the years; to include not only private residences, but also assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities.

HPBC services are provided throughout the entire county – Boca Raton to Tequesta, Belle Glade to the beach – to more than 850 patients and their families each day. Although there are three HPBC inpatient units for short term, acute symptom management, most patients are able to remain in their place of residence. With a primary focus on ‘Quality of Life,’ the HPBC Team works together to create a plan of care that best meets that particular patient’s and family’s goals.

The HPBC Team

Hospice physicians, pharmacists, nurses, nursing assistants, counselors, chaplains, therapists, dieticians and volunteers work with the patient’s caregivers and primary physician, to address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs for the patient and their family. These professionals, specially trained in end-of-life care, are experts in managing pain and symptoms. The hospice team makes regular visits to monitor the patient’s condition, manage medications, oversee medical supplies and equipment, provide personal care such as bathing, and offer compassionate caring support. Hospice is there for both patient and family – answering questions and providing information to help family members care for their loved one.

At Hospice of Palm Beach County we even offer additional comfort measures through the use of "alternative therapies" that may include our wonderful licensed music therapy program, pet visitors, art therapy, massage therapy or aromatherapy services.

Myth and Fact…

Myth - If someone is already in a facility, there is no need for Hospice Care.

Fact - For patients residing in assisted livening or skilled nursing facilities, the hospice team brings specialized training and experience in end-of-life care, is able to coordinate the patient’s plan of care, supplement the services by adding other disciplines such as music therapy and volunteers. Hospice care in the nursing home assists in monitoring and managing symptoms thereby reducing or eliminating crisis situations that may result in the need for transfers to hospitals, which can be stressful to patients and caregivers.

Fact – If an assisted living or nursing home resident is in the hospital and hospital staff deem appropriate for hospice and make a referral , then hospice can assess the patient for appropriateness and admit the patient to hospice while still in the hospital. Again, HPBC believes that the continuity of care with the nursing home staff is critical, as well as the patient being in their familiar surroundings. Therefore HPBC will work with the hospital and facility staff to help in returning the patient back to their comfortable surroundings with the appropriate level and type of care the patient requires.

The ultimate goal is to help the patient return to their place of residence as soon as possible. For after all….There is No Place Like Home!

For more information on Hospice of Palm Beach County, please visit www.hpbc.com or call Beverly Wingert, VP Business Development, at (561) 273-2244.
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