One of the benefits to choosing hospice care is that the service is designed to meet the needs of both the patient and their family.
Hospice care also comes to wherever a patient calls home, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, apartments, and private residences.
Both of these were welcomed resources for the family of the late Ellen Froelich in their recent experience with CHP Hospice, a United Way of Van Wert County participating agency.
Ellen and her husband, Dean, were residents at Vancrest Assisted Living in Van Wert. Last fall, Mrs. Froelich was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Hospice in a nursing facility
As her disease progressed, she was eventually transferred from assisted living to the skilled nursing section at Vancrest and admitted to hospice services through CHP.
While the nursing facility continued meeting her residential, custodial needs, hospice staff focused on pain and symptom management and emotional support for the family.
“Hospice supplements the care provided by the nursing home,” said Jeanie Saum, RN, Hospice Supervisor for CHP Home Care & Hospice. “Hospice nurses are trained specially for end of life pain control and symptom management.”
Complementary, team approach
The roles of hospice and the facility are complementary yet distinct, Saum says. It’s a team approach.
She says families appreciate the extra layer of support for their loved one and facility partners appreciate having additional clinical staff available to residents who may need extra care.
“Hospice is not just the physical care, but the psychosocial and spiritual care delivered by social workers and chaplains,” Saum said. “There’s also relief of financial strain from costly medications.”
CHP Hospice coordinates its care with the nursing home and the physician and educates the patient and family about death and dying, Saum said.
A comfort to patient and family
“I can’t express enough how much the CHP Hospice nurse did for us,” said David Froelich, son of Dean and Ellen. “Kayla [Wannemacher, RN with CHP Hospice] was incredible and professional in caring for both mom and dad.”
Froelich said their goal was for his parents to remain together for as long as they could. Having hospice care delivered to where they were living helped them reach that goal.
“The care was total, not only for mom, but for all of us,” Froelich said. “Hospice was a great comfort to us as a family.”