Richard receives Palliative/Hospice Care

May 10, 2021
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Richard knows when it comes to Catholic Health Services there is no better place to go for the best quality of care. When the time comes, Richard will go to Catholic Hospice as he knows they will provide comfort and preserve dignity.

Catholic Hospice would like Richard and his family to remain encouraged, despite his cognitive decline and changes in functional ability. We are confident our Palliative Care Team will support him and his loved ones to face the changes in his health status and to help manage his worsening symptoms more effectively.

Catholic Palliative Care Services (CPCS) will partner with Richard, his family, and his medical team to establish realistic goals of care and to develop a treatment plan that respects his wishes while receiving excellent medical care. CPCS will optimize members of the interdisciplinary team to address medical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs while monitoring his illness progression closely and proactively addressing his evolving needs. A physician and nurse will make sure he is taking the right medications and offer education to both Richard and to his family. A social worker will begin to make visits to help identify additional resources in the community and to offer counseling. Bereavement support can also visit with Richard’s family members who are poorly coping with his decline. The palliative team will also guide Richard and his loved ones to document solid Advanced Directives, including completing a Living Will and identifying a Health Care Surrogate.

Often, we struggle to identify the right time to bring our loved ones into the care of a hospice team. After speaking with Richard’s family, we understand and realize the toll that his condition has taken on the entire family. Richard’s medical team has now evaluated his condition and determined that given the natural progression of his illness, he has a prognosis of less than six (6) months to live. Our Palliative Care Team, in collaboration with his other physicians, will certify he is appropriate to receive hospice care.

When Richard and his family choose Catholic Hospice, we aim to make sure the family is educated on his illness progression though our “Sacred Journey” book, which guides them with what to expect as his illness moves along. Our Interdisciplinary team will determine the frequency of visits he needs. Initially, a nurse may visit Richard once a week with a physician visiting monthly. The social worker will offer resources and engage in difficult conversations about Richard’s end-of-life wishes, which include burial or cremation. A music therapist will help Richard and his family continue to share memories as they engage in therapeutic modalities that help with agitation, which is common to many at end of life. Our chaplains will journey along Richard and his loved ones to attend to spiritual questions and curiosities and lend support. Our bereavement team will also make sure they get to understand any complicated family dynamics, so that once Richard has transitioned, the family continues to receive the help they need to process their bereavement. Richard’s grandchildren will benefit from Camp Erin, where they can learn about healthy ways of grieving in a setting with other children their age who have experienced similar loss.

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