Hospice of the Carolina Foothills honors nursing home partners May 12-18Published 5:44pm Friday, May 17, 2013
Moving into a nursing home calls for adjustment on everyone’s part.
A person’s home, routines, belongings and everything they’re familiar with is replaced with a new way of life for them, and a new way of relating for their family. And if the nursing home resident is facing a terminal illness, the toll is even greater – both emotionally and spiritually – as everyone copes with a life-limiting condition and a new living situation. When a long-term resident’s condition declines, staff and other residents are also deeply affected.
At these times, the nursing home staff takes on responsibility for the patient and family’s end-of-life care needs. And Hospice of the Carolina Foothills (HCF) plays an important role as their staff work alongside the nursing facility staff to anticipate, prevent and treat suffering of all kinds – physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual.
Currently, HCF maintains contracts to provide hospice care for residents of 11 nursing homes in North and South Carolina – in Saluda, Tryon, Columbus, Inman and Spartanburg.
Stephanie Spahr and Elizabeth Ireland are hospice social workers who attend to patients at Autumn Care in Saluda, White Oak of Tryon and Willowbrooke Court at Tryon Estates. They offer insight into the role of hospice in the nursing home setting.
“The nursing home offers our hospice services as extra care and support for their residents who are eligible for hospice. It provides great reassurance to families, especially those who live out of town, to have more this extra set of eyes and ears attending to their loved ones.”
Aside from counseling by qualified social workers, HCF works with nursing home staff, patients and families by providing regular visits from registered nurses; consultations with physicians who specialize in hospice care; certified nursing assistants to aid with personal care; and education for nursing home staff, patients and families concerning patients’ symptoms, medications and care during their final days.