What Is Hospice?
Hospice is a unique care program designed to meet the special needs of terminally ill patients and their families. Good Shepherd Hospice is not a facility; instead we provide services wherever the patient lives—at home or in a long term care setting. Hospice helps patients and families cope with the physical, emotional, social, financial and spiritual aspects of terminal illness. Hospice focuses on controlling physical and emotional pain to assure each patient the greatest level of comfort and dignity possible.
When Should The Decision About Entering A Hospice Program Be Made?
At anytime during a life limiting illness, it is appropriate to discuss all the patient’s care options, including hospice. The earlier that hospice becomes involved, the more it can do to help make the patient’s final days, weeks and months as comfortable and satisfying as possible.
Should I Wait For Our Physician To Raise The Possibility Of Hospice Or Should I Raise It First?
The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice at any time with their physician. Most physicians know about hospice and will provide honest information about the appropriateness and benefits of the hospice option.
How Does Hospice Assure Comfort For The Patient?
Hospice patients are cared for by a team of physicians, nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains and trained volunteers. Each individual provides care based on their area of expertise. Additionally, hospice provides medications, supplies, equipment, and hospitalizations related to the terminal illness—all at no cost to the patient.
What Kind Of Assistance Does Hospice Provide To The Family?
The process of dealing with the long, progressive illness of a loved one can be made less complex and more manageable with the support of hospice staff. Hospice team members are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to provide assistance.
What Is The Hospice Approach To Pain Management?
Almost all physical pain can be controlled with professional medical care. Our physicians and nurses are up-to-date on the latest medications and methods for pain and symptom relief. Our chaplains and social workers are available to assist patients and family members with spiritual and emotional pain.
Will Medications Prevent The Patient From Being Able To Talk Or Know What Is Happening?
Usually not. The goal of hospice care is to teach the patient and family how to live with terminal illness symptom free, alert and active. Hospice is very successful at reaching this goal.
Can A Hospice Patient Decide To Try Aggressive Treatment?
Yes. A hospice patient can revoke hospice at any time they opt to return to aggressive therapy.
How Is Hospice Care Paid For?
Hospice is a benefit under Medicare and most private insurance plans. No patient is ever turned away by Good Shepherd Hospice because of lack of ability to pay.
About Good Shepherd Hospice
Inspired by a mission to provide compassionate and progressive hospice care, Good Shepherd Hospice opened its first office in Oklahoma City in 1995, proudly serving 188 patients by the end of that first year. More than 17 years later, Good Shepherd has grown into a multi-state organization, with offices in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.
The name “Good Shep-herd Hospice” was created by a company founder who was touched by a moving quote from Abraham Lincoln. “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.” Wanting a name that would impart a message of comfort to patients and families and encourage staff to aspire to care for patients as lovingly as possible, the image of The Good Shepherd spoke to this need.
Experts in Care
Good Shepherd Hospice has touched the lives of more than 17,000 patients in 17 years of operation. More than 47,000 family lives have been touched by our bereavement support; support that continues for as long as the family desires.
During the most challenging moments of our lives, we all can appreciate some extra support. Expert words of advice. A shoulder to lean on. An open and caring heart. At Good Shepherd Hospice, our team of highly skilled, trained care professionals work together to design an individualized plan of care that meets both patient and family needs. Both the Hospice Medical Director and the attending physician participate in the development and medical supervision of this plan of care.
Having conversations with your loved ones about their end-of-life wishes can be a sensitive discussion. These conversations matter and are needed to learn about your loved one’s wishes so that those wishes can be honored at the end of life.
If you or someone you love is interested in learning more about hospice services, we want to help. Please call us at 816-822-2292 (in Missouri) or 913-322-3297 (in Kansas), or visit us online at www.GoodShepherdHospice.com.