During November, the National Association for Home Care (NAHC) encourages all communities to celebrate National Home Care and Hospice Month, honoring the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists and social workers who make a difference for the patients and families they serve.
“For the aged, disabled or ill, staying in the homes they know and love can become increasingly difficult unless they can get services they need to support them,” says Derek Crum, RN, interim director of Hamilton Home Health.
Home health care is medical care that is appropriate for people suffering from chronic illness or recovering from acute injury or illness who need skilled care to remain at home. Services include medication management, wound care, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other skilled services provided by licensed individuals. Some patients qualify for additional services such as home health aides and medical social workers when necessary to support skilled services.
Care requires a physician’s order, and requires that the patient be under the care of a physician. Most insurers also require that the patient be homebound, meaning the patient only leaves home infrequently and it is very difficult to do so.
Home health care can be mistaken for personal or companion care (or non-medical care), which includes transportation, errands, light housekeeping, meal preparation and assistance with activities of daily living. Private sitters and some private and government agencies provide this type of care.
When a disease process has become terminal and patients and families are ready to shift the focus of care from curative treatment to comfort care and symptom control, in-home hospice care allows patients to remain in familiar surroundings at the end of life.
“Choosing to receive hospice care does not mean you are giving up hope or that death is imminent,” says Robbie Wheat, director of Hamilton Hospice. “The earlier someone receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize his or her medical condition and address other needs. Some patients actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care.”
Hospice care is a type of home care and is appropriate when patients with life-limiting illness discover that continued aggressive disease treatment is no longer effective, beneficial or desired. Hospice focuses on comfort, dignity and emotional support. The quality of life for the patient, but also family members and others who are caregivers, is the highest priority.
“This type of care not only ensures that symptoms are controlled and medications and equipment are provided so that patients are comfortable, it also supports families and assists them in dealing with the emotional and physical strain that can accompany end-of-life situations,” says Cynthia Washington, RN, Hamilton Hospice administrator and clinical manager.
Hospice care is a benefit of Medicare and most private insurers as long as the patient continues to meet the necessary criteria. The benefit pays for all care, equipment and medications associated with the patient’s terminal diagnosis. Hamilton Hospice is committed to caring for all patients, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.
Patients may revoke their hospice benefit at any time if they feel the need to resume more aggressive care. Patients can also re-enroll in hospice as their condition worsens.
Home health and hospice are part of the continuum of services that are provided by Hamilton Health Care System, which also includes hospital care, cardiovascular services, rehabilitation and wellness, ambulatory infusion, cancer care, behavioral health, long-term care, wound care and others.
Hamilton Health Care System (HHCS) is celebrating National Nursing Assistants Week, June 13-19. The theme for this year is “Nursing Assistants: Creating a Community of Caring.” The recognition week has been observed since 1977. Hamilton Health Care System employs nursing assistants within Hamilton Medical Center as well as at all four Hamilton Long Term Care facilities. Thank you for all that you do for our patients and organization.
Brandy Elder, RN, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Hamilton Medical Center, recently received the 2018 Hamilton Heart Honoree of the Year Award.
Elder received the Heart of Hamilton Award in early 2018 and qualified for the Hamilton Heart Honoree of the Year Award. She was nominated for the award for exceeding performance expectations by supporting a new co-worker
Elder was orienting a nurse who was new to the organization and to the country. Other than her husband and young child, the nurse had no family in the area. Her husband suddenly became very sick and was unable to take care of their child while the nurse was working.
Elder stayed after work with the nurse to comfort and support her and then offered to stay at the nurse’s home to try to make the child feel as comfortable as possible.
The Heart of Hamilton Award is provided as a way to recognize Hamilton associates or volunteers for actions that truly demonstrate the “Heart of Hamilton” (serving with compassion through professionalism, respect, integrity, diligence and excellence).
“Brandy certainly went above and beyond in her support of a co-worker,” said Jason Hopkins, Human Resources director. “It’s heartwarming to see and hear about that kind of dedication.”
Hamilton Health Care System focuses on serving with compassion. Through professionalism, respect, integrity, diligence and excellence, associates and volunteers demonstrate their commitment to the people of the community. When associates and volunteers go out of their way to make a difference in the lives of patients, family members, guests or other associates and volunteers, Hamilton is committed to recognizing their extraordinary actions. The Hamilton Heart Honoree of the Year Award recognizes one of the outstanding recipients of the Heart of Hamilton Award.
Hamilton Health Care System’s Long Term Care facilities, including Regency Park Health and Rehabilitation, Wood Dale Health and Rehabilitation, Ridgewood Manor Health and Rehabilitation and Quinton Memorial Health and Rehabilitation, celebrated National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW), which runs from May 12 to 18. The theme for this year’s national observance, “Live Soulfully,” celebrates skilled nursing centers, their residents and staff, by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. Established by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity for residents and their loved ones, staff, volunteers, and surrounding communities to acknowledge the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.