Sunset Stories

What is Hospice?

Posted by Gayle Young on Oct 17, 2018 4:39:41 PM

“May you live every day of your life.” —Jonathan Swift

Hospice care is often associated with finality: the realization that someone’s battle with illness will soon be lost. Although most people associate hospice with specialized care for those with life-limiting diseases or conditions, many have little understanding about how it actually works—and who all it serves.

Hospice is specialized care for those whose medical conditions have been diagnosed as terminal—and whose life expectancy is less than six months. The goal with hospice is to help individuals deal with physical, emotional, and spiritual pain resulting from a terminal illness. Toward that end, hospice care focuses on the quality of an individual’s remaining life, rather than its length.

Decisions about entering hospice are made by individuals and their families after doctors have determined that all curative options have been exhausted. Hospice patients receive individualized care plans that also support their family members and caregivers.

Hospice services can be provided at home, in hospitals, or in assisted living communities—depending on each patient’s needs and wishes. Teams consisting of nurses, social workers, clergy, and volunteers administer hospice care. Medicare, Medicaid, and many private healthcare insurers help cover the related costs for up to six months. If an individual lives longer than six months under hospice care, a physician must re-certify the terminal diagnosis for hospice care to continue.

Hospice at Sunset Communities

Sunset’s Ashanti Hospice and Palliative Care aims to create conditions in which clients can experience the end of their life journeys on their own terms. Using a holistic approach, Ashanti views clients as whole people while striving to provide them with the highest possible quality of life and comfort up to the end.

Ashanti Hospice customizes care for each client, but there are common elements that everyone can expect. Patients receive expert medical support including pain management, symptom control, and medication management. Each member on the hospice team provides emotional and spiritual support. The healthcare staff works hand-in-hand with each client’s family to deliver all required care.

Ashanti’s palliative care is a specialized form of medical treatment that focuses on pain and symptom relief during any stage of a patient’s illness. Palliative care can be offered simultaneously with hospice, and it may also be utilized in conjunction with curative treatments.

While an individual must have a terminal prognosis of six months or less to qualify for hospice, Ashanti services can be beneficial long before life’s end is imminent. Choosing hospice and palliative care early after a prognosis provides families access to a wider range of helpful services.

And Ashanti’s care commitment does not end following a patient’s passing. Because surrounding the entire family with care is central to the Ashanti philosophy, we offer bereavement services that support the patient’s loved ones.

Sunset’s Ashanti Hospice and Palliative Care is licensed in Lucas, Wood, and Fulton Counties.

Above and Beyond

Ashanti Hospice is unique in the way it views clients and their end-of-life needs. We listen to patients to determine their desires, be it having the chance to share a family meal together or to enjoy a favorite pastime.

An Ashanti client named Dave longed for his favorite foods and wanted to spend his final days at home. His wife, Dot, recalls how the Ashanti team treated her family during their difficult time.

“The staff went above and beyond to make sure Dave’s final days were memorable—bringing in food from our favorite restaurant, and one day surprising us with a car ride to get some fresh air and ice cream,” says Dot. “Because of their support and care, Dave was able to stay at home with our family and beloved dogs.”

Volunteers play a critical role in creating positive experiences for Ashanti clients. Working alongside professional staff, volunteers are highly involved with those they help, running errands for staff and families, staying with clients while their families rest, providing friendly visits, and so much more.

For more information about Ashanti Hospice and Palliative Care, please contact us here, or call us at 419-724-1047.

Become a Ashanti Hospice Volunteer

Topics: Hospice, Palliative Care, Why Sunset?