Is there such a thing as waiting too long to use hospice?

Is there such a thing as waiting too long to use hospice?

Sharing a ConsumerReports.com article about “how waiting too long to use hospice care can make suffering at end-of-life worse.”

According to the article:
Many people who are near the end of life wait too long to enter hospice care, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

In hospice care, attempts to cure a disease are usually replaced with treatments solely for pain and suffering, delivered by a specialized team. It usually includes medical and nursing care, counseling and social services, and it can be given at home, in a nursing home or in a hospital facility.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Happy Labor Day!

Did you ever wonder what’s behind Labor Day and how it earned its place as a federal holiday? Enjoy a fun read about this by clicking the link below to gain more knowledge about the history, importance and traditions of Labor Day.“National Today” Labor Day 2019 – Everything You Need to Know

Bristol Hospice: Serious about Compliance

Last month, the Office of the Inspector General released two new reports following its investigation into hospice care in the U.S. the NHPCO responded to New OIG Reports on Hospice Care with a press release stating that, “NHPCO welcomes the opportunity to shed a light on high quality providers as well as those that fall short in providing appropriate care.”

At Bristol Hospice, compliance forms the backbone of the company and in light of these reports from OIG and NHPCO, we want to take this opportunity to share some of these compliance aspects which we consider makes us one of the “high quality providers”.

View the NHPCO’s OIG Report Response

View “More about Bristol Hospice Compliance”

Coping with Loss

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The stages of mourning and grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. Mourning occurs in response to an individual’s own terminal illness, the loss of a close relationship, or to the death of a valued being, human or animal.

Every person grieves differently, and typically experience five stages of normal grief. Many do not experience the stages in order. In Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross book, “On Death and Dying” she identified the stages as denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. (source: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation.)

Loved ones that are terminally ill or aging appear to go through a final period of withdrawal. Those coping with loss spend different lengths of time working through each step and express each stage with different levels of intensity.

Bristol Hospice is here to support. Our trained volunteers, Chaplains and Bereavement Counselors provide grief counseling and support groups for those who have experienced loss.

Contact us to learn how our experts provide support for those coping with loss and grief.

Bristol Hospice Thanks you.

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At Bristol Hospice ~California, we are graciously committed to our mission that all patients and families entrusted to our care will be treated with the highest level of compassion, respect, and quality of care. Thank you for the wonderful comments from those we serve.

Here are just a few of the kinds words we receive.

“I am grateful for the help I received from your team and the support I received at this time. I want to thank each and everyone for the good care and, also, the chaplain. They all made it easier at this time for me. Thank you.”

Hospice Care. A Model for Quality, Compassionate Care.

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It is not surprising that most people associate hospice with cancer. In the mid-1970s when hospice came to the U.S., most hospice patients had cancer. Today, more than half of hospice patients in the U.S. have other illnesses for which they are medically eligible for hospice services, such as late-stage heart, lung or kidney disease, and advanced Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. (source: Hospice Foundation of America). Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, VA and most insurance plans cover hospice services.

Hospice is not a place, because Hospice is a plan of care. Patients may receive Hospice services wherever they call home, which may be a private residence or that of a loved one, hospital, assisted living center, or nursing home.

“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life.”
~Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of modern hospice.

Hospice is considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the patient’s loved ones as well.  At the center of hospice and palliative care is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.

Typically, in order to receive hospice services:

  • A hospice physician and a second physician (often the individual’s attending physician or specialist) must certify that the patient meets specific medical eligibility criteria;
  • The patient’s life expectancy is 6 months or less if the illness, disease or condition

Click here for resources for end-of-life caregiving resources from Hospice Foundation of America. Or for further information from our Hospice experts, contact us.

Honoring Veterans – A Mission to Serve

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America’s hospice professionals are on a mission to learn how to serve Veterans through the challenges they may be facing from illness, isolation or traumatic life experience.

Bristol Hospice is proud to be hospice partners the We Honor Veterans program. Developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the We Honor Veterans program aims to invite hospices to join a pioneering program focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment in the care of veterans.

As a We Honor Veterans Partner, the Bristol Hospice staff is better to:

Also, the keepsake book, “One Who Served: A Memorial Tribute to Your Veteran.” is presented as a gift from Bristol Hospice for the family when their Veteran passes away. The book was written to celebrate military service, recognize the family, define the grieving process and provide resources for assistance. Learn more.

Helpful links

The VA provides a full range of benefits to all enrolled Veterans. Click the links below for a broad overview of the benefits administered by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).

Contact us for more information about how Bristol Hospice delivers services for our Veterans.

Celebrate Those at the Heart of Caring

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June 9 – 16 is the 39th Annual National Nursing Assistants’ Week, celebrating the vital supporting role Nursing Assistants play in the delivery of quality care. It is reported that each day, more than 4.5 million caregivers provide hands-on care to our nation’s frail, elderly, or chronically challenged citizens. Visit cna-network.org to find out how you can thank Nursing Assistants this week.

This week especially, Bristol Hospice would like to commend all of the CNAs who provide comfort, care and support of those receiving hospice services. Thank you for all you do for Bristol Hospice’s patients and families. You are at the heart of caring!

National Safety Month – Are You Prepared?

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June is National Safety Month, reminding us of the importance of being prepared, educated and understand the leading causes of preventable injuries. Visit NSC.org to learn more.

As caregivers, it is important to be on the watch for unforeseen hazards around the home. Consider the following:

1. Safe Disposal of Medications: Medicines play an important role in treating many conditions and diseases, especially when receiving hospice services. When they are no longer needed, it is important to dispose of them properly to help reduce harm from accidental exposure or intentional misuse. Consider safely disposing of medications through drug take-back programs, mail-back programs or collection receptacles. Visit the DEA’s website for more information about drug disposal, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events and to locate a DEA-authorized collector in your area. You may also call the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 to find an authorized collector in your community.

2. Prevent Falls: The CDC reports that each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older falls and 2 million are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. To prevent falls, consider the following:

  • Remove things you can trip over from stairs and places where you walk.
  • Install handrails and lights on all staircases and grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Remove or secure small throw rugs.
  • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
  • Improve the lighting in your home.

3. Be Emergency Ready: The best way to be ready for the possibility of a public health emergency such as a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or disease outbreak is to have a plan. You can take steps now to help you prepare for an emergency and cope if an emergency happens. The CDC recommends it is important to know how you will contact family members and friends and understand the special steps you will take in different types of emergency situations. Click here to view information from the CDC to help you be prepared!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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Memorial Day honors America ’s fallen heroes and celebrates their sacrifice so they are never forgotten. Cities throughout the U.S. celebrate those who have bravely served our country. America’s Veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country.

Hospice-Veteran Partnerships (HVP) are coalitions of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, community hospices and others working together to ensure that excellent care at the end of life is available for our nation’s Veterans and their families.

Bristol Hospice’s professionals are on a mission to learn how to serve Veterans through the challenges they may be facing from illness, isolation or traumatic life experience. We proudly support our Veterans by being a Hospice Partner and receiving certification through the We Honor Veterans program. We Honor Veterans a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) invites hospices to join a pioneering program focused on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment.

By becoming a We Honor Veteran Partner, our staff is better prepared to:

There are four levels of certification in the program. Bristol Hospice programs are proud to have achieved the following We Honor Veterans certification levels:

  • Level 1 Certification (Provide Veteran-centric education for staff and volunteers, and identify patients with military experience): Bristol Hospice~Stockton; Bristol Hospice~Pathways; Judith Karman Bristol Hospice
  • Level 3 Certification (Develop and strengthen relationships with VA medical centers and other Veteran organizations): Bristol Hospice~Texas; Bristol Hospice~Georgia; Bristol Hospice~Oregon
  • Level 4 (The highest level of certification. Increase access and improve quality of care for Veterans in your community): Bristol Hospice~California; Bristol Hospice~Hawaii, Bristol Hospice~Sacramento; Bristol Hospice~Utah

We are proud to honor our Veterans and support increasing access to quality care. Our locations are available for admissions during the holiday weekend and offer the following:

  • Special care of Veterans
  • Pinning ceremonies attendance
  • Providing flags to each Veteran

Learn more about our program and how we support locally, please contact us.