ADDRESS

1875 Connecticut Avenue NW

Suite 540

Washington, DC 20009

PHONE/FAX

Tel: 202-966-3720

Fax: 240-839-3391

CFC #80571

© 2019 The Washington Home & Community Hospices, Inc.

UNDERSTANDING HOSPICE

How can The Washington Home help my loved one?

 

When your loved one is facing a serious illness and a cure is no longer effective or isn’t adding to quality of life, we come to wherever your loved one calls home to give her/him comfort care and to give you—the caregiver—the support you need.

 

Your loved one has a serious illness when her/his doctor believes that, if the illness runs its natural course, their life expectancy is six months or less. The Washington Home & Community Hospices takes care of your loved one as long as s/he qualifies for hospice – there’s no six-month time limit on our hospice services.  

 

 

You’re not in this alone.

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866-234-7742

Resources

What does comfort care mean?

Comfort care means:

 

  • our attention is on keeping your loved one comfortable and managing pain and symptoms when s/he is no longer receiving curative treatment for the illness

  • your loved one can stay at home with the people and things s/he loves and a hospice team cares for her/him wherever your loved one is: home, assisted living facility, group home or nursing home 

 

  • your loved one is in charge of her/his own care along with a team of hospice professionals who address any physical, emotional, spiritual, social or financial pain 

 

  • your loved one doesn’t have to give up her/his primary doctor – if you wish, the primary care doctor, along with our hospice doctor and a registered nurse,  work as a team to give your loved one medical care that manages their pain and symptoms

 

  • a  certified nursing assistant helps your loved one with personal care and other light duties

 

  • a chaplain talks and prays with your loved one, you and your family, if you wish, and, when asked,  works with your faith community leader

 

  • a social worker helps you and/or your loved one access community resources so your loved one remains independent and receives as much community support as possible for as long as possible

 

  • a grief counselor helps you, your loved one and family members deal with the emotions surrounding your loved one’s serious illness

 

  • a trained volunteer stays with your loved one when you have to run errands or keep appointments

 

  • a registered nurse is available 24/7 to answer your questions and see your loved one as often as needed and the hospice team will see her/him on a regular basis 

 

  • as your loved one’s caregiver, you’re responsible for her/his daily care (such as personal hygiene and giving medications) with teaching and guidance from our hospice staff   

 

 

Am I a caregiver?  

You may think, “I’m not a caregiver, I’m his wife (or husband, daughter, son, brother, sister, girlfriend, partner, neighbor etc.).”  But, if you have some or all of the responsibility for helping your loved one who’s receiving hospice care at home, you’re a caregiver.  

 

You may be the only person who’s caring for your loved one or you may be one of several family members coordinating and sharing caregiving responsibilities.  Caregiving duties and responsibilities, which change as your loved one’s needs change, may include:*

 

YOU’RE A CAREGIVER IF YOU HELP A LOVED ONE WITH ANY OF THESE DUTIES:

Household Tasks

  • Helping with bills and money management

  • Preparing meals

  • Shopping

  • Doing laundry and other housework

  • Doing home maintenance (repairs, safety modifications, yard work)

 

Self Care & Mobility 

  • Bathing or showering

  • Grooming 

  • Dressing

  • Feeding

  • Toileting 

  • Walking (cane, walker)

  • Transferring (in and out of bed, wheelchair)

 

Emotional & Social Support

  • Providing companionship

  • Discussing on-going challenges

  • Helping participate in social activities (family gatherings)

  • Managing family conflict

  • Helping deal with depression, anxiety, irritability or anger

    

Health & Medical Care

  • Managing and giving medications (such as pills, patches, injections)

  • Operating medical equipment (such as hospital bed, oxygen concentrator)

  • Preparing food for special diets (such as pureed foods)

  • Responding to emergencies

  • Providing daily wound care

 

Advocacy & Care Coordination

  • Communicating with doctors, nurses, aides and other hospice team members

  • Communicating with family members, friends, neighbors

  • Negotiating caregiver coverage (if multiple caregivers or paid caregivers)

 

Surrogacy

  • Handling financial and legal matters

  • Managing personal property

  • Helping with advanced planning

  • Helping with healthcare decisions

 

*Adapted from Family Caregiving Roles and Impacts

   National Academy of Sciences 2016

 

What’s my role as caregiver when hospice is involved?

 

Your caregiver role:

 

* You’re responsible for your loved one’s day-to-day care such as helping with personal hygiene, preparing meals, giving medications and offering emotional support. Our hospice staff teaches and guides you through what you need to know to care for your loved one   

 

The Washington Home & Community Hospices’ role:

 

  • We're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and make home visits when needed

 

  • a team of hospice professionals gives comfort care to your loved one and guidance and support to you in your home,  assisted living facility, group home or nursing home 

 

  • we focus on keeping your loved one comfortable by managing pain and symptoms with medications and equipment that we supply

 

  • your loved one is in charge of her/his own care along with the hospice team that addresses any physical, emotional, spiritual, social or financial pain 

 

  • your loved keeps her/his primary doctor who works with our hospice doctor and a registered nurse  to manage your loved one’s pain and symptoms

 

  • a  certified nursing assistant helps your loved one with personal care and other light duties

 

  • a chaplain talks and prays with you, your loved one  and your family, if you wish, and works with your pastor when asked

 

  • a social worker helps you and/or your loved one access community resources to receive as much community support as possible for as long as possible

 

  • a grief counselor helps your loved one, you and family members deal with the emotions surrounding a serious illness

 

  • a trained volunteer stays with your loved one  when you have to run errands or keep appointments

 

  • our hospice staff gives you guidance about caring for your loved one (such as medications and managing symptoms)  

 

Can we afford hospice care?

 

There’s no cost for hospice care – you don’t pay for anything. The following hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies:

 

  • your loved one’s medical care (a registered nurse visits as often as needed and our physician is available for visits and consults)

  • we order, pay for and deliver to your home all the medications related to your loved one’s illness (and fill the pill box if you wish)

  • we order, pay for and deliver to your home all the needed medical equipment (such as a hospital bed, wheelchair, commode and oxygen)

  • we order, pay for and deliver to your home all the needed supplies (such as dressings, disposable pants and lotions)

  • we pay for emotional and spiritual support (our chaplain talks with you in the privacy of your home) for you and your loved one

  • we pay for support (our bereavement counselor is available to meet with your loved one individually and with you and your family members) 

  • we provide volunteer support for you and your loved one (specially trained, dedicated adults)

How do I know what kind of care my loved one wants? 

  

It’s important that you know how your loved one wants to live the final months and days of her/his life – finding out what’s most important to them takes the burden off of you to make those decisions.  It means you’ll help your loved one have quality of life through the end of life with all decisions made according to what your loved on wants – not what the doctor or family members want.  

 

The Washington Home & Community Hospices gives your loved one tools to:

  • identify what’s most important to her/him and how they want to live their life  

  • complete an Advanced Directive form that gives your loved one’s healthcare providers instructions on what they want and don’t want and makes their wishes legally binding 

  • start end-of-life conversations with your family

  • complete the Maryland MOLST Form if they’re a Maryland resident

  • complete a Healthcare Power of Attorney form

 

 

What if my loved one needs more care than s/he can get at home?

 

The Washington Home & Community Hospices provides comfort care four different ways depending on your loved one’s needs: 

 

Routine Home Care – we come to where your loved one is and control pain and symptoms with medications, medical equipment and visits from our Registered Nurses. Our staff visit as often as they and your doctor determine your loved one should be seen and you always have access to a hospice nurse 24/7. 

 

Inpatient Care – we work with our local partners to arrange hospice care for your loved one in an inpatient facility, if her/his pain and symptoms can’t be managed well in your home.  Inpatient facilities provide 24/7 on-site nurses and aides, working with our hospice team. The goal of inpatient hospice care is to get pain and symptoms under control so that your loved one can return home.

 

Continuous Nursing Care – we come to your home when your loved one’s pain and symptoms can’t be managed well there but s/he doesn’t want to go to an inpatient facility. A Registered Nurse and an aide provide coordinated coverage for at least eight (8) hours daily for a brief period of time. This care is provided under most insurance plans.

 

Respite Care – if you request it, we contract with a facility where your loved one stays for up to five (5) nights while you get some much-needed time to yourself. Then your loved one returns to routine hospice care in your home. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Hear From a Caregiver