Life-Limiting Illnesses – When to call hospice
A life-limiting illness is an incurable chronic disease or condition that no longer respond to curative treatments.
Examples of a life-limiting illness include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Pulmonary Disease
- Liver Disease
- End-stage Renal Disease
A life limiting illness, coupled with symptoms below, could be indicators of decline and hospice eligibility:
- Frequent hospitalizations, ER visits, or visits to the physician within the last six months
- Progressive weight loss (with consideration to weight gain factors such as edema, when applicable)
- Decreasing appetite
- Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing
- Increased weakness or fatigue
- Decline in cognitive status or functional abilities
- Increasing assistance needed with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
- Increasing pain or increasing difficulty in controlling pain
- Increasing dyspnea or shortness of breath
- Oxygen dependency
- Reoccurring infections
- Increased nausea and/or vomiting that is difficult to control
- A desire to forgo future hospitalizations
- A request to discontinue treatment
- Recurrent or frequent infections
- Skin breakdown
- A specific decline in condition
If you or a loved one has a life-limiting illness and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, consider speaking to your physician about hospice services. You can also call Oasis Hospice at 1-877-699-3303, and one of our team members can help guide you through the process of requesting hospice through your physician.
Let yourself grieve. It’s important to let yourself take this roller coaster ride and feel your emotions rather than suppress them. No matter how hard you try to bury those feelings of grief, they will continue to resurface, and you won’t be able to truly move on. Start the healing process by giving into grief.
Lean on friends and family. Your friends and family expect you to be upset. While they may not always know the right things to do or say, they do want to be there for you even if it’s just to listen or offer affection. Never feel too proud or embarrassed to lean on them in this time of need.
Join a support group – online or offline. Whether you find a group through social media or in person, support groups provide ways to talk and listen to others who are in the same position and truly understand what you are going through.
Focus on the positive aspects of your life. The loss you are experiencing could feel like the worst thing that’s ever happened to you and no one can change your mind. Despite this, what you need to do is reflect on all the good aspects that continue to bless your life and are worth pushing through the grief.
Keep yourself busy. Become more involved, go on a trip, try something new – participate in activities you enjoy and that can keep you focused on something other than your grief. Redirect your energy into doing things you’ve always wanted to do but never prioritized.
Breathe. If ever you find the grief to be too overwhelming, take a few deep breaths. The body’s breathing becomes shallow when we are feeling tense or stressed, resulting in insufficient oxygen to the body. This adds to the stress you are already feeling, so focusing on conscious, deeps breaths helps you relax and breathe normally.
Journaling while grieving can help you document and process the feelings of grief you are experiencing. As you begin the healing process and reconnecting with who you once were, you may start thinking about or telling yourself things you would want to record. Putting these thoughts and feelings into words can be very beneficial and help in better working through the grief. This is why it is a great idea to keep a grief journal.
There are many, different ways you can start to fill up your journal. From creative writing and poetry to journaling and writing letters to your deceased loved one, each way provides you with a venue to communicate without fear of being judged. Opening up and disclosing your feelings to others can be difficult, but each of these methods allows you to express what you are feeling in a more personal, therapeutic way.
Research demonstrates that grief journaling after a significant loss has beneficial value. Experts explain that ‘reconstructing your personal self-narrative’ is crucial to the healing process. A grief journal can assist you in recording your experience, recognizing patterns, and establishing growth.
Are you interested in grief journaling but aren’t sure where to start? Here are some writing prompts to get you started:
- Today, I am really missing…
- I feel most connected to my loved one when I…
- If I could talk to you again, I’d tell you…
- My goal for this week…
- I know I’m going to be okay because…
Recently Hearts for Oasis Healthcare has received the Premier Performer SHPBest 2018 award for hospice caregiver satisfaction! Oasis’s dedication, compassion, and commitment to providing quality care in 2018 has led the team to be graciously given this award to wear a badge of honor. Huge congratulations to the Oasis Healthcare team for all their hard work, it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed!
But to simply put it, the SHPBest Program continuously and annually recognizes and scores the quality of care given to families and patients from hospice providers enrolled in the program.
It’s 2019 and in the data-driven world of healthcare, transparency, patient satisfaction, and a combination of the right attributes and tools are important expectations to consider within the industry. So…who helps set, measure, and influence standards and expectations healthcare providers should be following?
First, the list of compliance and regulations begins with CMS and are followed by an ever-growing list. With the help of one outstanding company in particular, SHP – Strategic Healthcare Programs help ensure that compliance standards are easily being tracked and minimums are met.
SHP provides helpful tools which give our healthcare professionals reports of real-time data to help manage and be able to make informed decisions that could help fine-tune performance.
In order to receive or qualify for one of SHP’s annual awards such as the Best-of-the-Best, Premier Performer, and Superior Performer the hospice facility needs to not only be enrolled in SHP’s program but also comply with the minimum completed surveys turned in for CAHPS. From there, “Awards are determined based on the ranking of the Overall Score for a provider against all eligible providers in the SHP database…”.
So how do the awards mentioned above rank? Well, the ‘Best-of-the-Best’ award goes to the company with the best Overall Score. The ‘Premier Performer’ awards go to the top 5% ranking providers and the ‘Superior Performer’ awards go to the top 20% of providers who rank.
Again, a huge thanks goes to our Oasis Healthcare team for all their hard work that goes into achieving this accomplishment! If you wish to join the team or see how our services can help benefit you please contact us.
Join our Tuscaloosa team for a free community continuing education class April 16th from 5:30-7:00 PM on Passion. Dinner will be provided, please RSVP in advance to hold your seat!
Join our Oasis Tuscaloosa team for a free community continuing education class – Hospice 101 at the Crimson Village May 8th from 12-1 PM. A light lunch will be provided so with the hunger to learn (and eat)! Please RSVP in advance to secure your seat; we look forward to collaborating with you!
Oasis’ very own Transition Coordinator, Kalista Alexander’s son, Frankie, was the inspiration for a children’s book! How awesome is that!? Proceeds from the book benefit towards Autism!
Check out the book here!
Learn more about autism here!