Hospice of Care
In 1983 Texas County Memorial Hospital opened the first hospice in the South Central Ozarks. Hospice of Care at TCMH, was established to provide the highest quality of life for the remaining time a terminally ill patient has. The focus of hospice care is on caring for, not curing, the patient by taking care of the individual rather than the disease.
Hospice of Care provides a holistic approach in caring for the patient’s physical, spiritual and mental needs. Hospice of Care also works closely with the patient’s family members and friends in creating a peaceful and high-quality experience for everyone as the patient nears the end of life.
When is hospice needed?
Hospice care is available for anyone of any age with a terminal illness such as cancer, heart disease, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other condition. Usually hospice care is reserved for patients that have been evaluated by a physician and found to have six months or less to live.
Where is hospice care provided?
The Hospice of Care service area covers a 40-mile radius from Houston which includes all of Texas and portions of eight surrounding counties. Most hospice care is provided in the comfort of a patient’s own home, but it’s also available in nursing home and assisted living facilities. If a Hospice of Care patient requires hospitalization during their time in the program or if the family needs a break from in-home care, TCMH has a private patient room dedicated for use by hospice patients.
What services are provided by Hospice of Care?
The patient’s family members are the center of the hospice patient’s care unit, and members of the Hospice of Care team work with them to provide care which includes:
- End of life care under the direction of the hospice physician
- Regular in-home visits by hospice trained nurses as well as 24-hour, on call nursing support
- Visits from a chaplain
- Counseling and social services support for the hospice patient and for the patient’s family members
- Respite care
- Medication to control pain and symptoms
- Medical equipment such as medical beds, wheelchairs, and oxygen
- Therapies needed such as physical, speech or dietary
- Bereavement care for the family following the patient’s death
Who is the Hospice of Care team?
The Hospice of Care team is a group of professionals that are trained to maximize the comfort of the terminally ill person and help support the patient’s family members and loved ones.
- Physicians oversee the symptom management and end-of-life care.
- Nurses visit the patient’s home or other care setting for regular evaluations, reporting back to the physicians. Nurses are available to provide end-of-life guidance and for emergency visits should the patient’s condition change or a crisis develop.
- Hospice aides provide extra care and assistance for the person in hospice care by performing services such as dressing, bathing or feeding the patient.
- Spiritual counseling is available from the hospice chaplain. Many patients already have a connection to a spiritual service in their community, but the hospice chaplain is available for additional service..
- Social workers provide counseling and support as well as providing some assistance in sorting out financial and insurance concerns. The social worker also provides bereavement counseling and grief support.
- Volunteers are trained to provide a variety of services such as sitting with the patient, running errands for the patient or the patient’s family members or participating in activities the patient enjoys such as playing a game with the patient or reading to the patient.
How is hospice care paid for?
Hospice of Care will provide services to anyone regardless of their ability to pay. Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance may be used to pay for hospice care, and Hospice of Care is certified by Medicare. For those without insurance, services are available on sliding fee scale. Hospice of Care will work with patients to explain the various options available.
To receive reimbursement for hospice care expenses, the patient’s physician must certify that the patient is eligible for hospice services, and the patient seeking hospice care must agree to receive hospice care instead of treatments meant to treat or cure the illness.
Hospice Memorial Fund
Losing a loved one creates a void that can never be completely filled. However, a memorial tribute is a fitting way to honor the memory of a loved one by assisting others in their time of need. Through the spirit of sharing, such tributes can help preserve the loving legacy of our departed friends by giving back to those who need it most. Hospice of Care is a not-for-profit organization, and all Hospice of Care donations stay in the Texas County area to benefit patients in the hospice program. The Hospice Memorial Fund, administered by the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, was created to provide an avenue for extending a meaningful expression of sympathy, love and respect. A gift to the Fund serves as a lasting tribute to a departed loved one, both in our memories and in those whose lives it touches.
Additional information about the Hospice Memorial Fund is available by contacting a member of the Hospice of Care team or at the Healthcare Foundation office, 417/967-1377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.