Hospice is a philosophy of care for those facing life-limiting illnesses as well as their families and caregivers. The focus is to help the patient experience peace and comfort in their final days while offering support to their loved ones.
Hospice care may begin when the patient chooses to discontinue curative treatment, typically when their prognosis is six months or less. An individual plan of care focused on comfort measures and quality of life is developed in cooperation with the patient's physician, the patient and their loved ones. Most families say that they wish they had initiated hospice care sooner due to the positive impact on both the patient and family.
Taking a holistic approach, the hospice care team works diligently not only to manage symptoms and minimize pain but also to address the emotional and spiritual needs that are part of the end-of-life experience. Depending on the patient's condition and needs, care can be provided at home, in an assisted living or nursing home facility or at the Gordon Hospice House inpatient facility in Statesville.
The hospice team provides care and comfort for patients and their families through every step of life's final journey.
Many people think hospice is only for cancer patients. This is a misconception that has kept many from receiving care that could have greatly improved the quality of their end-of-life experience.
In fact, hospice offers comfort care to patients of all ages who are coping with life-limiting conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's ALS, diabetes, emphysema, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS as well as cardiovascular, kidney and liver diseases.
There are three basic criteria for admission to the Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County program:
One integral but often overlooked aspect of hospice care is the support offered to patients' family and caregivers.
Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County works closely with those whose loved ones are facing a limited prognosis, helping them not only to navigate the challenges of the end-of-life experience but also to find opportunities to celebrate life.
In keeping with our commitment to total family care, HPCIC offers families access to bereavement counseling services for a full year following the loss of a loved one.
The patient care team – which includes physicians, registered and licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, medical social workers, bereavement counselors, chaplains and trained volunteers – is the heart and soul of hospice.
The patient's care is overseen by the physician, who orders treatment, medication and services. Our registered nurses and licensed practical nurses work under the direction of the physician to control pain and other physical symptoms that cause distress or interfere with patient comfort.
HPCIC's certified nursing assistants offer supportive care, making regular visits to the home to help the caregiver with tasks such as bathing, grooming, changing bed linens and ensuring that the patient's living area is kept safe and sanitary.
Our medical social workers help families address legal and financial issues as well as other end-of-life concerns. They also provide education and counseling, connecting families with community resources and involving other agencies when beneficial.
Our bereavement counselors and chaplains offer emotional and spiritual guidance to patients and families throughout end-of-life experience. HPCIC's chaplains respect all faiths and traditions, working closely with community clergy to arrange visits when requested by the patient.
It is important to note that the patient and their family are also members of this team and, in fact, are considered the head of the team, as our role first and foremost is to honor their wishes in helping them achieve the best possible quality of life.
We also invite you to visit our Hospice FAQs page to find answers to some of the most common questions about hospice care.