Comfort and Support with Hospice Services
The word hospice stems from the Latin word hospitium, meaning guesthouse. It was originally used to describe a place of shelter for weary and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages. During the 1960's, Dr. Cicely Saunders, a British physician, began the modern hospice movement by establishing St. Christopher's Hospice near London. St. Christopher's organized a team approach to professional care giving, and was the first program to use modern pain management techniques to compassionately care for the dying. The first hospice in the United States was established in New Haven, Connecticut in 1974. Little Company of Mary formally established its Hospice program in 1976, making it the first in the area.
Hospice is not a place; it is a concept of care. The vast majority of Hospice care is provided in private homes or a nursing home. Hospice is designed to provide physical, spiritual, psycho/social and emotional comfort and support to patients with a life-limiting illness and their families. Hospice becomes and option when an illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments. The care addresses all symptoms of the disease, with special emphasis upon pain control and comfort. Hospice neither prolongs nor hastens death. It promotes quality of life with compassion and dignity, while recognizing each patient's and family's unique needs. Our dedicated Hospice Team is specially trained in this concept of holistic care and includes the following professionals.
The Hospice Medical Director works in conjunction with the patient's Primary Physician for overall medical direction and supervision of the Hospice care and team.
The Hospice Nurse provides skilled care, symptom control, and coordinates additional services with other team members with the assistance of the Hospice Nurse Manager.
Provide pastoral and spiritual care and counseling to patients, families, and friends, if desired.
Licensed Medical Social Workers
Provide assistance with community resources, financial needs, and short-term counseling.
Home Health Aides
Provide personal care and comfort for the patient.
Provide patient/family companionship, emotional support, household assistance, child care, bereavement follow-up, and office assistance.
Home Medical Equipment Technicians
Delivery, set-up, and maintenance of equipment.
Provide emotional support to family members, if desired.
Pharmacists, Dieticians, Rehabilitation Therapists
Consult with the Hospice Team and/or patient and family as necessary.