Providing comprehensive services with care and compassion
The services listed below provided by the Hospice at Southwest General
are focused on delivering an extra measure of exceptional hospice care
and comfort for patients, caregivers and family members.
Art therapy allows for feelings to be expressed through a visual tool,
encouraging insight and often relieving repressed feelings. It is a form
of expressive therapy that uses creative tools such as paint, clay or
crayons primarily with children dealing with a loss or a patient who is
unable to speak.
Bereavement support is available throughout the hospice experience and
beyond. Many times, grief begins with the diagnosis. While your journey
is most likely filled with hard work, loneliness and sadness, please know
that there is someone at Hospice Services who would like to hear your
story and offer you support. Support services are available to you free
of charge and include:
- Individual support
- "Out of the Valley" support group
- Specialized support groups
- “Coping with the Holidays” programs
- "Healthy Grief" - an eight-week series support group
- Semi-annual "Service of Remembering"
- Quarterly newsletter
- Schedule of classes and support groups
Hospice care is focused on the terminally ill and their caregivers. Besides
the care provided to the patient, Hospice Services has a variety of ways
of helping caregivers. From access to any of our staff and their leadership,
to our library and bereavement and caregiver support groups, hospice is
committed to attending to the needs of the caregiver.
A Hospice aide is specially trained to take care of the personal care needs
of the patient, including, but not limited to, bathing, shampooing and
shaving as well as changing bed linens. These services are dependent upon
the patient and family needs.
A physician directs the care provided by Hospice Services. Accordingly,
the physician may be the patient’s primary physician or the Hospice
Services’ medical director.
Music is the voice of the soul. It quiets the restless heart, helps people
to remember the days of long ago and empowers a stronger connection between
patient and family. Hospice Services is thankful to be able to offer the
gift of music therapy during this time of transition and challenge for
the many patients and their families.
A registered nurse monitors medical needs, concerns and fears and communicates
regularly with the doctor and family to effectively and efficiently manage
the patient’s plan of care. A nurse is available 24 hours a day
to answer any emergency questions or concerns for both the patient and
family. There is a registered nurse in the residential center 24 hours
each day. Additionally, many of our nurses in Hospice Services are certified
in hospice and palliative care.
Nutrition and Hydration
A clinical dietitian is available to assess any special concerns of patients
in both the residential center and outpatient program as requested by
the RN case manager or by a family member. The dietitian reviews the patient’s
diet with the nursing staff in an effort to honor their food requests.
End-of-life nutrition and hydration expectations and needs are unique
to each patient. These changing needs are monitored by the nurse and dietitian.
Menus for patients in the residential center are planned and approved
by the dietitian.
Pain and Symptom Management
Management of the patient’s symptoms is a vital concern of the hospice
staff. The RN managing the patient care plan will help educate the family
or caregiver on what to watch for as an illness progresses. Education
on the proper administration of medications is also provided. For family
members having questions about medications, our RN is available to answer
them and provide additional education and support. For each member of
the hospice care team, patient comfort is the key to our Hospice care.
Palliative care is a medical specialty focused on the expert care embracing
treatment, pain and symptom management along with stresses of serious
illness. Services offered are meant to allow the patient to have control
of the treatment plan managing issues of pain, symptoms, and stresses
connected to the illness/treatment process. The goal is to ease suffering
and offer the best quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative
care is coordinated with the patient’s primary care physician. A
nurse, certified in hospice and palliative care, case workers, social
worker, chaplain, patients and families are all a part of the team. Palliative
Care Services works in partnership with your physician throughout the
course of treatment.
No matter how much a caregiver or family member loves a patient, there
are times when the caregiver needs to rest. To assist with this need,
Hospice Services provides respite care at The Thomas P. Perciak Family
Residential Hospice or through volunteers. A volunteer is often available
to stay at the home with a patient if a family member needs to rest, run
errands or simply requires a short time to cope. Respite care can be arranged
through the hospice nurse and is available for home patients only on a
limited basis of up to five days per month.
Social Work Service
The role of the social worker is to support the terminally ill and their
caregivers as they attempt to solve problems affecting quality of life,
dignity, rights to self-determination and care. They do this by assessing
any psychosocial needs, providing information, counseling and advocacy.
The social worker also serves as a resource to the hospice team and the
greater community by serving as an integral member of the hospice team.
The spiritual care coordinator is available to assist in meeting the needs
of all Hospice Services’ patients and their family members. Spiritual
care acknowledges and respects the patient’s and family’s
beliefs, culture and values related to life’s meaning, including
suffering and loss and desire for services. Spiritual care supports patients
and their families in the exploration of questions related to the illness,
one’s relationship with others, nature, God, self-image and hope.
Spiritual Care is a vital aspect in the holistic care concept of hospice.
Hospice acknowledges and values the uniqueness of each person and recognizes
that by being human, one has spiritual needs in their life’s journey.
The volunteer coordinator, together with hospice staff, assesses the needs
of the patients, families and caregivers for needed respite and supportive
services. The coordinator then assigns volunteers to meet those specific
needs. The coordinator also arranges the training needed to be a volunteer
and supervises all volunteers. The coordinator may be contacted at
We Look Forward to Helping You
For more information about the Hospice Services available through Southwest
General or to arrange an appointment to discuss your needs, please contact us at