LRH Hospice Provides Compasionate Care to Terminally Ill Patients and Their Families
Receiving high quality care through Lakes Regional Healthcare (LRH) doesn’t have to end when diagnosed with a terminal illness. Through LRH Hospice, a patient with a terminal illness can continue to receive care, oftentimes in the comfort of his or her own home. In recognition of November as National Hospice Month, LRH wants to make people aware of the availability of this important service.
LRH Hospice has been providing hospice services locally for terminally ill patients and their families for over seven years. Hospice is a special kind of care that concentrates on care, not cure, for patients of all ages and with various types of illnesses. It is designed to provide sensitivity and support for people in the final phase of a terminal illness. The goal for the patient is for the last days to be spent with dignity and quality at home or in a home-like setting. Hospice strives to meet all of the patient’s needs – medical, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual – as well as the needs of the family. A team of professionals and volunteers provide services ranging from high tech nursing and medical care to basic assistance with the activities of daily living and bereavement counseling for the hospice patient and their family.
According to LRH Director of Community Health Services Micki Kohorst, “All too often people facing terminal illness don’t know where to turn for comfort and support. Our goal is to diminish the fears that make people reluctant to talk about death and to let them know about the supportive, compassionate, and pain-relieving services that hospice provides.”
LRH Hospice focuses on each patient as an individual, providing care based on his or her personal needs and interests. Kohorst said, “We have a multitude of services available. We offer medical care such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and wound care. We also focus on the patient’s social and physical needs. For example, we offer companionship, respite care for the patient’s caregivers, run errands for the patient, bathe them, and offer compassionate touch or massage as well. We provide the services that are needed based on the individual, so it differs from patient to patient and family to family.”
Services associated with the patient and family’s spiritual and emotional needs are a major part of the hospice plan of care. Such services include a chaplain, social worker, and nurse helping the patient and their family work through death and dying issues. A bereavement counselor works with the patient and the patient’s family for 13 months after the patient’s death. Events to memorialize the patient are held for the families of LRH Hospice patients.
Kohorst said, “We are proud of the care we provide to patients and their families. There is a great deal of satisfaction knowing we have a positive impact on a person and their families at an important time in their life.”
Anyone interested in learning more about LRH Hospice can call 712-338-9998 or visit www.lakeshealth.org.