Hospice Services

The Hospice Services of St Joseph Health have registered nurses available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A knowledgeable professional is always available to answer questions. No waiting until the morning with the patient in pain - Nurses respond quickly once the call is received. If more than advice is required, our Nurse will come to the patient for evaluation, to offer recommendations, and to make sure patient and caregiver are comfortable with what is being suggested.
The Hospice Services of St Joseph Health value family members as part of the care giving team and as an integral part of the unit of care.

In addition to supporting the patient, we acknowledge that support for the caregiver is also crucial. We present options for the patient based not only on what he or she needs, but also on the needs and capabilities of family members. Our social workers and chaplains are available to support the caregiver through challenging issues that may arise when a loved one is seriously ill. We have trained volunteers who can come to the home for a few hours and visit with the patient providing support and relief.

If the family caregiver should experience an illness or emergency during the course of hospice care, hospice can often arrange for the patient to stay for a few days in a local nursing home until another family caregiver can be put into place.

Upon the death of the patient, we will come to the home to support the family during this poignant time and provide support for the “next steps”.

Recognizing that grief is a natural response to loss, we offer individualized grief support services to the family as well as the community at large.
Serious illness brings up many difficult questions and feelings. As we face the possibility of dying, we all have fears, worries, and concerns. The staff of the Hospice Services of St Joseph Health have experience in helping people address these issues. We have specially trained social workers and non-sectarian Spiritual Care Providers who can meet individually with the patient, or loved ones, or meet with the family as a group, to help everyone come to a better understanding of the journey ahead.
No matter where the patient one calls home: personal residence, nursing facility, board and care, or assisted living, our hospice staff will visit several times each week.

A nurse will check on the patient's condition, answer questions, and recommend changes in medication, diet, equipment, or supplies; the nurse will then report to the patient’s physician to discuss possible changes and obtain doctor’s orders.

A Hospice Aide may come to deliver personal care. A social worker can provide personal support, or perhaps information about helpful community resources. A Spiritual Care Provider might offer non-sectarian spiritual support. A specially trained volunteer can provide companionship to the patient or a much-needed break of a few hours for the family.

When needed the Hospice Physician, who is an expert in symptom management, may make a bedside visit to the home. The care and support of the entire hospice team is available to each hospice patient, but the patient and family are ultimately in control of accepting the services that they feel are most beneficial to them.
Our hospice staff is trained in relieving pain and other discomforts that may arise in the final chapter of life.

The definition of "pain" is very broad and may include emotional, and spiritual distress, as well as physical pain. Hospice is a holistic concept and treats the mind and spirit as well as the body. Sometimes the best solution is medication. But sometimes the problem can best be resolved by changing sleeping positions, modifying diet, or simply talking through an issue to gain clarity about a difficult emotional concern.

Special equipment such as oxygen for shortness of breath, or a hospital bed or wheelchair to reduce the likelihood of falls or caregiver injury, is provided at no charge to the hospice patient. Medicare beneficiaries may also receive all prescriptions, equipment, and supplies related to their hospice diagnosis and needed for comfort and symptom relief at no additional cost.
Doctor’s visits often provoke anxiety making it difficult to remember everything you've been told—or even what you wanted to ask! Our nurses are available to answer your questions. In the comfort of your home, our staff can explain the disease and the medical issues that surround it. They understand the day-to-day impact of living with a serious condition. We're there to help in any way we can. Even when dealing with an incurable condition, just knowing what to expect helps many patients and families relax and feel less anxious about the process.
A bath, a shampoo, a shave, styled hair, groomed nails, all of these things can make us feel refreshed and renewed and can do wonders for self-esteem. Seriously ill individuals, however, are often unable to provide this care for themselves. Family members may offer help, but may feel awkward or ill prepared, or even unsafe.

Our hospice aides are professionals who have been trained in safety techniques that protect their patients and themselves from injury. Having an aides come to the home two or three times a week to help with bathing and grooming relieves the patient and family of worry and risk.

At Hospice Services of St. Joseph Health we know there are many things that only family members can provide. By letting our staff help with tasks such as bathing and grooming, caregiver and family are free to more easily give the love and affection that the patient needs.
Pharmacies, doctors, physical therapists, equipment suppliers... it can be mind boggling to juggle all of the different services and providers the patient may need to stay comfortable. Part of our hospice care involves coordinating these many services so you can concentrate more fully on your loved one's daily needs.