The hospice plan of care.
To be eligible for hospice care, a patient must meet certain requirements:
- Be under the care of an attending physician who gives consent for hospice care
- Be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness (life expectancy of six months or less) if the illness runs a normal course
- Accept treatment which strives for symptom management rather than cure
- Have a primary caregiver available to take responsibility for routine daily care
- Live in or near Rockbridge County
Rockbridge Area Hospice accepts patients without regard to race, religion, national origin, lifestyle, sexual orientation, age gender, handicap or ability to pay.
Place of Care
Hospice services are provided in a variety of settings. Most hospice care is provided either in the patient’s home or in a long-term care facility (e.g. nursing home) or other non-hospital setting to assist in pain control and other symptom management. Hospice care is also available in the hospital on a short-term basis to address a medical emergency.
Hospice does not routinely provide extended 24-hour continuous care in the home. Hospice staff members visit on an intermittent (scheduled) basis. The frequency of these scheduled visits will depend upon specific needs.
Rockbridge Area Hospice offers a full complement of services to patients and their families in both home and inpatient settings. Under the direction of the attending physician, our interdisciplinary team will provide:
Physical Support– Pain control, symptom management, and personal care are provided to ensure that the patient is physically comfortable. Most symptoms can be managed at home.
Emotional/Psychological Support– The individual/family members facing a life-limiting illness usually feel a significant emotional impact. Facing death may bring about fear, anxiety, and sadness. Addressing grief and loss issues enhance the ability to cope with such a crisis. Patients are often concerned about the effect of their illness and imminent death on loved ones. Knowing that loved ones are receiving support is important for the patient’s peace of mind.
Spiritual Support-Finding a sense of purpose and meaning in illness and death can remove much anguish. Pastoral care is available to families requesting this service.
Our nurses, physicians and nursing aides are part of a team that plan and provide services to control pain and keep patients comfortable.
You and Your Family
You (our patient), your caregiver (a friend or family member who makes sure that you are receiving medications appropriately and who reports any problems or changes to Hospice), and your family are the most important members of the hospice team. You determine, with input from the hospice team, the kind of care that will be given. You have the option to discontinue hospice care at any time for any reason. The rest of the hospice team relies on you to let them know of needs, concerns, and questions.
Your physician indicates that in his/her best judgment you are appropriate
for hospice. The physician continues to follow you and works with our staff to implement the plan of care. S/He is part of all decision making.
The hospice nurse works closely with the physician to ensure that you are kept as physically comfortable as possible. Pain control and symptom management will be primary concerns. Your hospice nurse makes scheduled visits. However, a nurse is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency situations.
Certified Nursing Assistant
An aide can assist with personal care, such as baths, shampoos, and nail care. The aide will also help with light household duties related to your care when these tasks become difficult for you to manage.
Social Workers provide individual and family counseling to help meet the challenges created by your illness and help find access for you and your family members to resources necessary for your well-being. This counselor is also available to assist you and your family with grief issues associated with your illness.
Rockbridge Area Hospice provides empathetic, sensitive bereavement care for families and friends during their time of grief. This can encourage them to reinvest themselves again gradually in life. This service is available to all who have suffered loss, whether or not their loved one was in RAH care. Find our more….
Spiritual support is provided to patients and families requesting it.
Rockbridge Area Hospice will assist patients in securing legal services for the preparation of wills and advance medical directives on request.
Massage is one of several alternative therapies in use for pain management. Volunteer massage therapists are available upon request for home visitation.
Following extensive training, a volunteer can offer assistance in various ways. This includes staying with you so that family members can run errands or rest, or running the errands and assisting with chores for the family members. They can read to you, do occasional meal preparation, or provide financial or legal advice.