Circle of Care
Hospice care is provided by a team of professionals who each provide a specialized kind of care. This interdisciplinary group (or IDG) collaborate with each other in real time through our electronic medical record (EMR) so that each team member is aware of the patient’s status and needs at all times.
The hospice team creates a plan of care together that is based on the needs and goals identified by the clinical team and the patient and family. Each plan is individualized and uniquely suited for the patient’s requirements, and is evaluated regularly and adjusted as needed during the patient’s journey through end of life. The hospice team comes to our patients’ residences to provide care. How frequently our team members visit depends upon the plan of care that is created for each patient.
Each of our patients have a different story, and our priority is to meet them where they’re at. To be eligible for hospice care, a patient must have a six-months or less terminal diagnosis. Our patients live in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other locations. It is our privilege to provide care for our patients every step of the way during their end-of-life journey.
Family & Friends
Our patients’ families and friends are an important part of their journey, and we’re here to support them as they care for their loved one. Our team of skilled social workers and chaplains can provide assistance and guidance as desired, and we have a library of resources for every age.
Our team is here to support and answer questions about a loved one’s health, as well as help with processing grief and bereavement. We provide 13 months of bereavement support after a patient’s passing, and we’re here to help after that as well.
Our hospice medical directors determine and certify when a patient is eligible for hospice care. They lead the care team in developing each patient’s individualized plan of care and advise on updating it as needed during the end-of-life journey. Seasons keeps any attending physicians (usually a primary care physician or a physician at the patient’s nursing facility) informed of care and prognosis as it changes over time. The hospice team physician can co-certify hospice eligibility if a patient does not have an attending physician. Our team physician will assess needs and determine the best management for symptoms and pain, including medication prescription.
Our patients’ attending physician assist with determining and certifying when a patient is eligible for hospice care. Seasons keeps any attending physicians (usually a primary care physician or a physician at the patient’s nursing facility) informed of care and prognosis as it changes over time. The hospice team physician can co-certify hospice eligibility if a patient does not have an attending physician.
Hospice Care Consultant
When someone has received a hospice diagnosis and has questions about how to enroll in hospice, our hospice care consultants (HCCs) are the perfect people to go to for answers. They educate on how hospice can be beneficial to patients and their families, as well as what types of support Seasons can provide. Our HCCs answer questions about care and services, and are happy to meet face-to-face, talk over the phone, or drop off, mail, or email more information about the services we offer.
Registered Hospice Nurse
Our nurses are experienced in providing pain relief and symptom management and communicate regularly with the patient’s physician to update them on the status and the effectiveness of the plan of care so that any changes necessary can be made as the illness progresses. They also assist in monitoring medications and making sure all medical supplies and equipment are ordered. Our nurses work to anticipate needs and educate patients and families to help them understand the progression of illness and hospice plan of care.
Our hospice aides provide direct personal care designed to increase comfort and assist with needed activities of daily living. Aides compassionately assist with things like bathing, hair care, shaving, skin care, catheter care, and linen changes. They help with dressing and other personal care a family or personal caregiver may need. Hospice aides do not dispense medication, but do report back on patient status to the nurse and the rest of the IDG. A patient’s hospice aide will likely be the same each visit.
Facing a serious illness can be a time of stress, confusion, and strong emotions. Our social workers help patients and families navigate challenges that arise as a disease progresses. They provide direct therapeutic counseling and bereavement support and connect patients and families with appropriate community agencies within the local community. They collaborate with the hospice team to ensure patients and families are comfortable and have their needs met. Social workers are also integral to our Leaving a Legacy program, which focuses on helping patients find tangible ways to share their history with their family.
Learn more about Psychosocial Support.
During private sessions with patients and their families, our music therapists practice music-as-medicine. The application of music therapy for hospice patients is a clinical discipline. Board-Certified music therapists perform favorites songs or hymns for their hospice patients and familiar genres to ease pain, bring comfort and create connections. They use music to calm a racing heart or steady respiration rates. Music therapists also work with patients and families to create legacies of songs and voice recordings that memorialize a patient’s life. Music therapists are also integral to our Leaving a Legacy program, which focuses on helping patients find tangible ways to share their history with their family. A music therapist holds at least a bachelor’s degree, plus an additional certification from the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Many Seasons music therapists have advanced or graduate degrees.
Learn more about Music Therapy.
Seasons chaplains honor all faiths and religious traditions. Our chaplains are fully prepared to provide patients and families with spiritual support that speaks to their faith journey or beliefs and will honor individuals according to their faith tradition or wishes. Spiritual care can be provided to all who ask, including patients, families, partners, or friends. Our chaplains provide support, companionship, and can lead in prayer and spiritual readings. They also provide bereavement services and help with conversations about grief and loss.
Learn more about Psychosocial Support.
Our carefully selected and well-trained volunteers work alongside our professional staff to support our patients and families. They provide comfort, non-medical care and compassion to our patients and their families. They perform tasks such as visiting or calling our patients and families, having conversations, reading aloud, listening to music together. They help at our inpatient centers as vigil volunteers or serve on our pet therapy team. Direct care volunteers are required to take background checks and participate in initial hospice volunteer training and basic orientation.
Learn more about our Volunteers and Volunteering.