Honolulu (KHON2) – November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and Islands Hospice talked about services and common myths.
“The first myth is that hospice is a place,” explains Sean Reeks, Director of Community Outreach for Islands Hospice. “The reality is that hospice is a service that can be provided wherever a person lives—assisted living, nursing home, residential care home, foster home, or one’s private residence. Most of our patients are receiving services in their very own homes. A second myth is that Hospice services are costly when the reality is that Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurances cover services 100%. Services come at no cost to patients and families, which I know is relevant now more than ever with the increased financial burdens that many families are facing as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.”
Services are customized, but in general, you have nurses making visits with a focus on pain and symptom management. “Nurses are also there to help offer education and peace of mind to our patients and their families,” adds Reeks. “CNA’s make home visits and offer personal care needs such as grooming and bathing. Folks receiving our services will have access to social work services and spiritual care. Medical equipment and medical supplies are an aspect of our programs, and of course medications related to an individual’s hospice diagnosis.”
Nurses are available to patients 24 hours a day, and whereas they won’t be in your home 24 hours a day, if patients are experiencing a medical change or perhaps the family just needs peace of mind, they can make home visits 24/7/365. It’s covered by insurance 100%.
Islands Hospice has remained open and fully operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as an essential health provider.
“We, like most health care providers, have implemented COVID-19 policies in accordance with CDC guidelines,” says Reeks. “In particular, we are utilizing PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure the absolute safety of our staff, our patients, their families, and the entire community. I’m happy to say that we have been quite successful in our efforts to both care for patients AND protect our staff and the community.”
Reeks stresses the need to reach out for support, saying, “I’ve read multiple articles and studies lately that say the rates of depression, anxiety, and stress have increased exponentially during this pandemic. No doubt, caring for a loved one with declining health could potentially be a contributing factor to stress, and this is the case not during a pandemic as well—but you don’t have to “go at it” alone.”
To learn more, you can call Islands Hospice at 808-550-2552, which services Oahu and Maui.
Social Media Handles: Facebook – @Islandshospice