Continuum of care refers to the range of services available within the healthcare sector to address health and wellness needs.

As an elder, a person would enter the continuum of care by enlisting the services of home care, then progress to assisted living and then enter a skilled nursing facility as their health challenges escalate. So where does hospice care come into play in this continuum?

Hospice is not a “place”, it is where you need it, whether it is in your home, nursing facility or assisted living. So, this is where the continuum of care comes into play. Hospice affirms life. This is achieved by enhancing the quality of life.

Hospice provides support and care for anyone in the final stages of life, so that they may live in comfort and dignity, surrounded by the warm and loving presence of their families, friends and caregivers. Continuum of care is guided by responsive care, teamwork and working with other services to allow for a seamless transition as the needs change for the patient.

When you have a life limiting illness, hospice brings compassionate care and support to you, so you can live in comfort and dignity. Hospice also provides family members with care and services throughout the hospice journey.

By electing hospice care the patient and family can receive many benefits from the service. We often receive feedback from families saying, “I wish we would have started hospice sooner”. Many times, hospice is elected in the final days or hours of life and there simply isn’t enough time for the patient and/or the family to experience the full benefit.

Care is delivered by a team of professionals based on the needs of the patient and/or family. This might include physician care, a registered nurse case manager, social worker, Hospice CNA, chaplain, volunteers, bereavement support and grief counseling.

Hospice can provide medications and medical equipment to help alleviate symptoms. Short-term respite care, short-term acute in-patient care or 24 hour at-home care during a crisis are also options available to our patients still living in their own home. Many of our patients suffer from end stage lung disease, whether that be lung cancer, COPD or CHF.

Compassionate Care Hospice has a specialty program that is unique to our services and is not offered by any other hospice in the area. Pulmonary Connections, which is specific to heart and lung disease. We are the only hospice company who has a respiratory therapist on staff who makes patient visits on pulmonary patients. Compassionate Care Hospice believes in quality care which in turn improves quality of life for everyone involved.

The best way to determine if you or a loved one would benefit from the services provided by hospice is to call us at 1-877-372-7003, or e-mail me at rebecca.jenniges@cchnet.net We would be happy to give a no-name, over-the-phone consultation at no cost. If you would simply like a more detailed program explanation, we can do that too.

– Becky Jenniges is a hospice liaison for Compassionate Care Hospice