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Hospice Care Increases Comfort and Reduces Hospitalizations

When a loved one has reached the end stages of terminal cancer, hospitalization often becomes an increasingly frequent experience. This has a significant impact on care costs as well as on the patient’s quality of life. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that palliative care options like hospice, can significantly reduce the rate of hospitalizations and aggressive procedures for these patients.

What is hospice and palliative care? 

When a patient is no longer able to benefit from medical treatments due to a terminal illness or disease, the care focus changes to keeping the patient comfortable and as healthy as possible for the remainder of their life. For example, cancer patients will no longer undergo chemotherapy, radiation or surgeries designed to cure or remove the cancer. Instead, they will receive medications and therapies that keep pain and discomfort at bay.

Why is reducing hospitalizations a good thing? 

Aiming to reduce hospitalizations for end-of-life patients may sound counter-intuitive, after all, hospitals provide cures and treatments to extend and enhance our lives. However, this is not the case for terminal patients at the end of their lives. They are often hospitalized for health issues that could have been prevented through better end-of-life care. Treating these preventable issues costs families, insurance companies and government insurance programs a huge amount of money.

What did the study find? 

The study, conducted with the input of 18,000 pairs of Medicare patients with terminal cancers, found:

  • Non-hospice patients had more hospitalizations than hospice patients (65% vs. 42%);
  • Non-hospice patients were placed in intensive care more often than hospice patients (36% vs. 15%);
  • More invasive procedures were done on non-hospice patients than hospice patients (51% vs. 27%); and
  • Most hospitalizations of non-hospice patients were due to health concerns unrelated to their cancers.

These findings also show that overall, a non-hospice patient incurred a total cost of $71,517 during their last year of life, while a hospice patient’s costs totaled $62,819 — a relative saving of nearly $9,000.

These findings highlight an important issue that goes far beyond the cost of end-of-life medical care. It’s not simply a matter of money. The quality of care hospice delivers actively works to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and health complications, and ensures comfort at this important stage of life.

Comfortable, wellness-focused end-of-life care at our hospice dedicated assisted living area in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit assisted living organization in New Jersey, we offer a compassionate, professional hospice-dedicated are of our community at the Jersey Shore called Bridges. It focuses 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 South Jersey, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/ or contact us today and organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/hospice-care-increases-comfort-reduces-hospitalizations/

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Coping With Grief during the Holidays

The holiday season is here, and for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, this can be an especially difficult time of year. Everywhere, messages about spending time with the ones we love are abundant, and bring into focus the loved ones who will not be celebrating with us, which can lead to intense feelings of sorrow.

Here are some coping strategies from the team at our hospice neighborhood in South Jersey to help make this season more manageable:

  • Remember that grief and healing go hand-in-hand. Grief is an integral part of the healing process, and choosing to experience the pain rather than shutting it away is a healthier path to healing. Over time, this will help make the holiday season easier.
  • Acknowledge your loss. Remembering the one you’ve lost and expressing your feelings can help make them a part of the festive season and lead to traditions in which they are kept close to your and other people’s hearts. Set aside some time or a task and make it all about that someone special and choose something that reminds you of them. For example, lighting a candle in church or at your family dinner table, opening a bottle of their favorite drink, serving a favorite dish, or playing their favorite music.
  • Set healthy boundaries. Don’t push yourself to have a perfect holiday season, attend every event, and embrace every occasion with a smile on your face. Instead, give yourself a break if you find an event too painful, or need some time by yourself. Pick and choose what events you feel comfortable with, and keep your options open. You might prefer a quiet evening in with family looking at photo albums and watching movies, rather than a big social event with lots of people. Don’t feel obligated that you have to attend an event if it’s too difficult or painful for you.
  • Speak openly with family and friends. Everyone experiences grief differently, and communicating your concerns and feelings to your loved ones is especially important during the holidays. Your support network can help ease the burden of the holiday season, from helping you to create new traditions in remembrance of your loved one, to understanding why you need time and space from certain events.

Professional care and support from Bridges, our hospice and palliative care neighborhood in Cape May County, NJ 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit assisted living organization in New Jersey, we offer compassionate, professional care in the Jersey Shore area in a neighborhood called Bridges, dedicated to hospice and palliative care. 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 neighborhood in South Jersey, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org or contact us today and arrange your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/coping-grief-holidays/

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What Families and Loved Ones Want from Hospice Care

Death, or the approach of death, is understandably difficult to deal with. Terminal patients, as well as their families and loved ones, often find it hard to address, feeling overwhelmed, confused and a loss of control.

This is when hospice comes in and lends a guiding hand in understanding what is coming, preparing for death and supporting loved ones in their grief. It is this support and these resources that families, patients, and loved ones need. Our hospice in South Jersey focuses on these needs to set the standards for excellent end-of-life care.

How Our Hospice Team Meets Your Needs

  • A comforting environment:

Very few people want to spend their last few months in a sterile, busy and unwelcoming hospital environment. Hospice offers the terminally ill a space to call their own, filled with the comforts of home and familiar items.

  • Spend time together:

Hospice providers understand this is an important time for family and loved ones. So, they are welcome to spend time at the hospice. With private accommodation for patients, you don’t have to worry about intruding on others. Our family dining space allows you to dine with your loved one throughout their stay. We also have gardens and outdoor spaces for family and loved ones to enjoy.

  •  Customized care:

No two hospice patients are the same, so care plans are created to meet each person’s specific requirements; modifications occur as their needs change. Whether your loved one is suffering from dementia, cancer or any other terminal illness, our fully trained and experienced care and medical staff can deliver the necessary assistance and treatments.

  • Grief support:

Compassion is the primary focus in hospice care, for patients as well as their loved ones. In addition to grief counselors, we also offer spiritual support throughout this difficult time.

  • Reduced stress:

While always an emotional and stressful time, our team will do as much as possible to share the load. Expert hospice care helps reduce the stress of caring for a loved one yourself. Knowing their medical and wellness needs are being taken care of means that family caregivers and loved ones can focus on what really matters — spending quality time together.

Find Out More About End-of-Life Care at Our Hospice in Cape May County

The Shores, part of the well-known United Methodist Communities nonprofit organization in New Jersey, offers compassionate, professional hospice care in Cape May County called Bridges. This program focuses 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 hospice care in the Jersey Shore area, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org or contact us today to organize your visit.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/families-loved-ones-want-hospice-care/

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When Is the Right Time for Family Caregivers to Consider Hospice Care?

Being a caregiver to a family member or friend is a choice that many people make because it helps avoid costly care and allows you to spend precious time with a loved one. However, many caregivers find this challenging role can become overwhelming in later stages of care and when illnesses become terminal. At this point, hospice care may become the right choice for you and your loved one. Here are some insights from our hospice care provider in Ocean City on making this decision:

Hospice is about comfort and care at the end of life

Firstly, it is important to know that hospice is a level of care that is reserved only for patients nearing their end-of-life, or who have terminal conditions that can no longer be effectively treated by doctors. In order to qualify for hospice, patients or their families have to be certified by a physician to have six months or less of their life remaining, however, they will continue to qualify for hospice after six months, as long as the physician is able to continue to document the patient’s eligibility.

This qualification process remains in place because the focus of hospice is not about treating a disease — rather, it is about providing patients and their loved ones a high level of comfort, compassion and care as they go through this transition. Medical teams and care workers assist with pain and symptom management and wellness, as well as to provide bereavement support and pastoral care (if needed).

Can family caregivers and loved ones benefit from hospice care?

The short answer to this question is yes, absolutely. Providing end-of-life-care as a family caregiver is an overwhelming task, not only because it requires such a significant shift in care as well as increased care demands, but because this can be a difficult and emotionally stressful time for you as well as your loved one.

Hospice offers an entire team and range of services dedicated to assisting you and your loved one. Not only does their experience, access to medical equipment and skilled services help ensure the highest level of care and comfort for your loved one, they also free your time from daily caregiving tasks so you can actually spend quality time together.

The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, offers a compassionate, professional hospice dedicated neighborhood in Cape May County called Bridges. This program focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for residents and their loved ones through customized care and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in South Jersey, please contact us today at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/.

Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/right-time-family-caregivers-consider-hospice-care/

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