Category Archives: Hospice Care

A Guide to Putting Your Affairs in Order

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When diagnosed with a terminal illness, one of the tasks patients need to address is ensuring that their personal paperwork is in order. Despite the negative connotations of this task, it can be a very empowering process that delivers great peace-of-mind. Here are some tips to help with that process from our hospice in South Jersey.

A Checklist of Basic Documentation

Every person’s situation and requirements are unique, but the basics apply to everyone. The general documentation and information you should gather into a file includes:

General information

  1. Your full legal name, social security number, date and location of birth and current address.
  2. The names and contact information for your spouse, children or nearest dependents.
  3. A list of your current medications and contact information for your doctors.
  4. A copy of your Living Will, Advance Directive, Last Will and Testament and Power of Attorney documents, and your lawyer’s contact details /whoever holds the original documents.
  5. A copy of your birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certificate, citizenship documentation, etc. and instructions on where the originals are located.
  6. Military records, if applicable.

Financial information

  1. Medicare/Medicaid information.
  2. Social security information.
  3. Credit/debit card information.
  4. List of bank accounts and safety deposit box information.
  5. Insurance information – life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, long-term care insurance, etc.
  6. Copy of your financial Power of Attorney documents with instructions on where the originals are held.
  7. List of assets and liabilities and instructions on where the deed for your home, car title and other property documents are located.

Additional information

  1. Instructions on pet care and guardianship, as well as their veterinary contact information, pet insurance, etc.
  2. List of monthly household bills and instructions — electricity and gas, internet, water and sewerage, real estate taxes, maintenance providers (garden service, trash, etc.).

Wellness-Focused End-of-Life Care at Our Hospice in South Jersey

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhoods in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for patients and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice in the Jersey Shore area, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/a-guide-to-putting-your-affairs-in-order/

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4 Tips for Starting the Discussion About End-of-Life Care

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For people with elderly parents, ensuring that their end-of-life care wishes are met is important — but they’re often held back from having this critical discussion because it is such a difficult one to start, or even to think about. Here are four tips from our hospice community in South Jersey to help you have this critical conversation.

  1. Speak now, don’t wait until it’s too late. It is important for discussions around end-of-life care to happen as early as possible with elderly parents or those facing a terminal illness to give them time to think about their wishes and consider different options. This ensures that your loved one gets the care option they prefer, rather than having an option pushed upon them in an emergency situation when they are unable to have their own say.

It also gives loved ones and their families’ time to adjust and absorb what they are facing while ensuring that a high quality of care is maintained throughout this time.

  1. Get to know different end-of-life care options. Since these discussions are often avoided, many people have little idea of what end-of-life care is all about, and this means that it’s often shrouded in fear and misconceptions. Before starting the conversation, visit different hospice and end-of-life care providers in your area and get to know their facilities, services and staff.

This is a good opportunity to speak to staff about daily routines and the kind of care your loved one will receive, and to have any of your questions answered. This way, you’ll be able to share reliable information and insights with your loved one.

  1. Have many conversations — don’t try to cover everything at once. This emotional and challenging conversation is likely filled with plenty of things all parties need to consider. Instead of trying to cover all your ground in one discussion and possibly overwhelming your loved one, limit your conversation to simple concerns and let your loved one lead the way.

For many terminal patients, end-of-life care has also been on their minds, so rather let them air their concerns and ask questions rather than dominating the discussion yourself. They may be relieved that you have brought it up.

  1. Ask the experts. If you are unsure of when end-of-life care would be needed for your loved one, what their illness entails in terms of end-of-life care or want recommendations for quality providers in your area, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make an appointment to speak to your loved one’s doctors, to friends and family who have loved ones in end-of-life care, and to the professionals at the facilities you visit.

End-of-life care is about compassion and support for terminal patients as well as their families, and leading providers are more than happy to sit down and advise you on how to manage this difficult issue.

Ask Our Hospice in Cape May County, NJ for Advice, Insight and Support 

At The Shores, part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer compassionate, professional hospice care in the Jersey Shore area in a part of our building called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support.

To find out more about our hospice or assisted living in the Jersey Shore area or if you need advice on hospice care options and Medicare, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/4-tips-for-starting-the-discussion-about-end-of-life-care/

 

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Palliative Care – Deciding Between In-Home and Hospice Options

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Individuals at the end-of-life have several care options available to them, but it can be a challenge deciding which ones will work best. Our hospice in South Jersey recommends looking at three main factors to help you decide – namely, the intensity of care needed, the available budget for care, and the wishes of the person concerned. In this article, we’ll take a look at two high-quality end-of-life care options and what they offer.

Home-Based End-of-Life Care 

This is provided in the home of the individual, which can be more comforting and comfortable than some alternatives like hospitalization. The services and cost vary from provider to provider and depend on the severity of the individual’s condition.

It should involve a team of fully trained caregivers to take care of a wide range of duties from nursing and medication management to nutrition and hygiene, and even household chores if needed. Home-based care has the advantage of not having to move your loved one to new surroundings, which can cause confusion and distress and may make it more difficult for friends and family to visit if the site is far away.

Hospice End-of Life Care

Hospice facilities are not to be confused with hospital facilities, as they don’t offer curative treatments. Instead, hospice focuses solely on providing comfort and care to terminal patients with six months or less to live. Unlike hospitals and institutional facilities, quality hospice facilities go to great lengths to provide a calm, welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for patients, combining the privacy and comforts of a home with expert nursing and therapy services.

At a hospice, your loved one will receive around-the-clock care tailored to his or her exact needs and wishes. Interdisciplinary care teams are on hand at all times to ensure that patients’ physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs are met, and families are also supported throughout this time. Care plans are developed with input from patients and their loved ones as well as doctors, nurses, therapists and other specialists.

The cost of hospice care varies among providers, but eligible patients at providers certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should receive coverage for all care related to the admitting diagnosis through the Medicare and Medicaid Hospice Benefit.

Find Out More About Quality Hospice Care – Speak to the Team at Our Hospice in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges.

This program focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for individuals and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and schedule your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/palliative-care-deciding-between-in-home-and-hospice-options/

 

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Medicare and Hospice Care – 6 Questions Answered

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As a leading hospice in South Jersey, we often find a lot of confusion among the public about hospice care and what hospice services are really about. This lack of information can lead not only to misconceptions, but also patients missing out on the best possible care during the end of their lives. Our team would like to share answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:

  1. What is hospice? Hospice is a name given to a range of services specially designed to care for terminally ill people, as well as support their families and loved ones. Rather than offering treatment or cures, hospice focuses on pain relief and symptom management, giving patients as much comfort as possible.
  2. Will Medicare cover hospice? This depends on the hospice provider you choose, but many are affordable under Medicare. Basic requirements for the resident include eligibility for Medicare Part A, certification by a doctor and the hospice director that they are terminally ill with six months or less to live, and lastly, that the chosen provider is Medicare-approved.
  3. What hospice services will Medicare cover? These can include doctor services and nursing care, medical equipment (walkers, etc.), medication for pain and symptom management, physical and occupational therapy, grief counselling, and short-term respite and inpatient care.
  4. What hospice services will Medicare not cover? No services or medications focused on curing their terminal health condition will be covered.
  5. Will guardians and family still be able to give input on care? The interdisciplinary team will work with you to develop a care plan uniquely suited to your loved one’s needs. It includes things like the frequency of visits by the doctor and nurses, as well as therapists and other hospice team members.
  6. Does choosing hospice mean giving up on my loved one? Absolutely not. When medical treatment is no longer an option, hospice services provide a means for your loved one to live in comfort and with dignity. Hospice care is about giving patients the best possible quality of life, surrounded by loved ones and all the comforts of home. For families, this brings peace-of-mind that loved ones’ care needs are well taken care of, and frees up time to spend enjoying the company of loved ones.

Need More Information? Speak to the Team at Our Hospice in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges.

It focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for individuals and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and schedule your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/medicare-and-hospice-care-6-questions-answered/

 

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7 Essentials to Pack for Hospice Care

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Moving into hospice care in jersey shore can be a challenging time for patients and their families, but knowing what to bring can help make this transition easier. Here’s a basic guide from the team at our hospice in South Jersey.

  1. All current medication. This includes medicines, treatment creams, medical inhalers, eye drops, and any medical equipment, including a walker, unless supplied by the hospice.
  2. Comfortable clothing. Three to four pairs of pajamas, a night gown, socks, slippers and a bed jacket or sweater. Slippers should fit well and have good grip.
  3. All day-to-day toiletries, including toothbrush, toothpaste, denture cleaning/storage (if needed), deodorant, body wash and skin moisturizer/lotion, hairbrush, cosmetics, razor and shaving cream, and so forth.
  4. Favorite foods. This depends on what food the hospice can store on your behalf, but favorite cookies, snacks, chocolate and other goodies are always welcome.
  5. Personal bedding. Although high-quality linens are supplied, many patients get extra comfort from using a pillow or blanket from home.
  6. Pictures and sentimental items. A few personal photographs, a vase for flowers, a favorite plant or sentimental items are welcome and help bring in the comforts of home.
  7. Music and books. A radio, music player or other device loaded with your loved one’s favorite music and audio books makes a great addition. Books are also welcome, as are other reading materials.

If there is anything else a patient or visitor would like to bring into hospice, be sure to contact the staff and ask whether it can be accommodated. Our team is happy to work with you to create a comfortable, supportive and caring environment.

Visit A Hospice in South Jersey and Discover A Program Based on Compassion and Care 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood called Bridges, in the Jersey Shore area.

It focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for assisted living individuals and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and schedule your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/7-essentials-to-pack-for-hospice-care/

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A Guide to Terminal Restlessness Among Hospice Patients

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As much as dying is a fact of life most people prefer to avoid thinking about this topic. While understandable, it does mean that many of us are unprepared when facing the dying process, which makes the passing of a loved one even more difficult.

One common part of this process is known as terminal restlessness. In order to comfort their loved one through this experience, it’s important for the family and friends to understand what this is and how it is managed. Here is a basic guide from the team at our hospice residence in South Jersey.

What is Terminal Restlessness and How Can It Be Managed? 

This term, used to describe a mental state that many terminal patients move through during their final stages of life, is estimated to affect up to 85% of patients. The symptoms include agitation, restlessness, delirium, confusion and impaired consciousness. Many patients also experience myoclonic jerks (involuntary muscle movement) and twitches. Understandably, this is distressing for loved ones.

While the exact cause of these symptoms isn’t linked to one particular condition, caregivers will monitor any changes in mental state to ensure that any underlying conditions are treated. Common causes for terminal restlessness include hypercalcaemia (a metabolic disorder common to cancer patients), fever, organ failure, sepsis, drug interactions, increased pressure on the brain, or opioid toxicity.

Researchers also point to a likely psychological element at work here, in which patients are more aware that they are approaching the end of their lives. Whatever the reason, caregivers play a vital role monitoring mental state, offering spiritual and emotional comfort, ensuring treatment of any underlying conditions whenever possible, and offering sedation if needed. Specialists often recommend that loved ones try playing calming music, talking in a gentle and reassuring manner, and holding your terminal loved one’s hand to help reduce agitation.

Comfort, Compassion and Care at Our Hospice Residence in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges.

It focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for individuals and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and schedule your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/a-guide-to-terminal-restlessness-among-hospice-patients/

 

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Don’t Wait Too Long for Hospice Care

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Hospice services are a valuable resource for people of all ages, but especially the elderly and their loved ones, providing comfort, care and support through the final stages of life. Despite the value of this service, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that very few elderly people who qualified for this level of care made use of it.

Here are some additional insights into the study and the value of palliative care programs, from the team at our assisted living hospice dedicated neighborhood in South Jersey:

Who is Making Use of Hospice and Palliative Care Services? 

The study looked at 562 individuals over 70 years of age, with an average age of 87-years-old. Of all the participants, only 43% were admitted to hospice care in their last year of life, and half the participants only received 13 days or less of care.

Ideally, candidates who would benefit from this care have six months or less to live, so clearly these services are underutilized.

Why is it Better to Go into Hospice Earlier? 

The most common reason for avoiding hospice care may very well be that this is a very difficult, emotional and distressing time for patients and their families. It represents a final part of a loved one’s life, and we’d all prefer focusing on their life rather than their passing.

The study also found that while certain terminal illnesses have a fairly predictable progression, others make it far more difficult to determine when treatment is no longer an option. Afflictions like frailty and dementia also make it more difficult to pinpoint when hospice care is the best choice. This makes it essential to keep in regular contact with physicians and ask questions about treatment plans and hospice programs so that families can make informed decisions that prioritize a loved one’s comfort and care when the time comes.

The reality is that hospice care is a valuable resource. It focusses on expert pain management, physical comfort and spiritual support, as well as social and physical activities tailored to your loved one’s needs.

They also provide support and care to families and loved ones, allowing them to step back as caregivers and spend quality time with their loved ones while compassionate staff makes sure their other needs are met. Hospice care also actively works to reduce hospitalizations for patients, ensuring their care and nursing needs are met in a more welcoming and comfortable community.

Find Out What Quality Care Means at Our Hospice in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges.

It focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for individuals and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and schedule your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/dont-wait-too-long-for-hospice-care/

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