Hospice is a special health care option for when you or a loved one have a terminal illness or are facing a life limiting illness. For patients in hospice, a multi-disciplinary team, including physicians, nurses, social workers, bereavement counselors and volunteers, works together to address physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs.
While hospice care is widely used and accepted for end of life care, there are still times when hospice is chosen too late or not at all, due to lingering myths and misunderstandings. It is important to be informed so that the right decision can be made for you or your loved one, and you are able to choose hospice care that best meets your needs.
Hospice services are typically delivered in home or at an inpatient hospice unit by a nurse. Generally, your hour-to-hour care is the responsibility of you and your family, however, hospice nurses are on-call 24 hours a day to answer questions and handle emergencies. Hospice team members make visits throughout the week to provide medical care, emotional and spiritual support, and help with personal care such as bathing. If you live alone or need help with around the clock care, you may need to consider a nursing home or other care options such as private duty care-givers to ensure you receive the ongoing care you need.
For acute symptoms that are difficult to manage at home, Banner Hospice offers short-term inpatient care. Whether care is received at one of our contracted facilities or at our inpatient unit in Sun City West, Arizona, we use the same caring team approach with a comfortable home-like setting.
Because each patient and family has different needs, a dedicated hospice team is assigned to each specific patient and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The team works closely with the patient's medical director to create a care plan driven by the needs and wishes of the patient, family and other loved ones.
- Medical directors: Oversee and direct the care plan a patient receives. They are available 7 days a week to care for the patient’s needs in their home or at the inpatient location.
- Nurse case managers: Control and manage pain and symptoms. They help create a care plan and continue to monitor changing needs, while in constant communication with the medical director.
- Social workers: Address psychological and emotional needs of the patient and family, helping with access to community resources.
- Home health aides: Help with personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming) and light housekeeping.
Additional care may be provided by chaplains, volunteers, registered dietitians, and therapists.