Every patient and his or her family are provided their very own hospice team. The team consists of:
Each patient receives a personal medical care plan that is put together by the patient’s personal physician and the hospice physician. The physicians and the other members of the hospice team are always in close contact with each other.
Hospice social workers help patients and their families navigate planning for end-of-life care; understand their treatment plan and be vocal about their needs; manage the stresses of debilitating physical illnesses, including emotional, familial and financial; overcome crisis situations; and help make connections to other support services.
Hospice social workers are advocates for patients and their families, and know what their clients need and what resources are available within and outside of hospice settings to help them.
Members of the community who have training and an interest in helping people and their families in the final phase of life are hospice volunteers. Companionship for the patient and relief for the caregiver are examples of what volunteers can offer to hospice patients and their families.
Bereavement counselors provide support to family members after the death of a loved one so they can move forward with their lives. Bereavement counselors organize support groups and offer one-on-one counseling to help out the families during a difficult time in their lives.
Hospice nurses monitor each patient’s condition by making regular visits. The nurses specialize in palliative care, a special kind of care that helps increase comfort and minimize pain. The nurses keep the patient and their families informed about the illness and how to manage the pain and symptoms of the disease. In case of emergencies, hospice nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To help the patient and their families cope with the illness, hospice spiritual counselors are available to help with the spiritual and religious needs. The hospice works with the patient’s church or synagogue to meet the unique needs of each patient and their families. If the family needs help with the funeral or memorial services, the hospice spiritual counselors can assist the family.
Hospice aides are skilled individuals that provide a break in the normal routine of personal care for the caregiver. The hospice aides help the patient and caregiver manage personal care of the patient. Examples of some of the duties hospice aides provide are personal grooming, light housekeeping, cleaning up the patient’s area, and many others as needs arise.