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Compassionate, Community-Based Care from Southwest General

The goal of hospice is to provide terminally ill patients with the support and resources needed to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones.

Hospice Services of Southwest General started in 1987, and in 2003, Southwest General opened The Thomas P. Perciak Family Residential Hospice. We provide state-of-the-art hospice care for patients in their actual dwellings or nursing homes or assisted living apartments. For urgent needs in the home, 24-hour on-call staff is available. Additionally, our hospice program includes 24-hour medical supervision for symptom relief at our 10-bed residential facility, in Strongsville. This is most often a short-term stay for those with a specific symptomatic need.

Our team includes:

  • Medical director
  • Nurses
  • Nursing assistants
  • Social workers
  • Spiritual care providers
  • Bereavement counselors/coordinators
  • Volunteers

Eligibility for Hospice Care

A patient is eligible for hospice care when it is determined that a cure is not possible and the main concern is patient comfort and quality of life. Hospice care often is selected by patients who no longer wish to remain in the hospital and would prefer to spend their time with loved ones.

At Southwest General, we accepted Medicare, Ohio Medicaid and most major insurance plans as payment options for hospice services. Additional hospice services provided include:

  • Medical director's coordination of care
  • Medications related to the terminal illness
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Respite care at our residential facility
  • Assistance in determining the patient's insurance coverage

Comprehensive Hospice Services

At Southwest General, hospice patients are cared for by compassionate and dedicated professionals who are committed to providing quality care and helping patients and their loved ones through this difficult time.

Hospice Services at Southwest General, include:

  • 24-hour on-call staff (typical response time is under 15 minutes)
  • A medical director who makes home visits
  • Comfort medications available upon admission
  • Continuous care in the home for symptom management
  • Nursing staff certified in hospice and palliative care
  • Nurse visits in the home, as needed
  • Nursing aides available to help with personal care needs
  • Board-certified chaplain
  • Social worker certified in hospice and palliative care
  • Bedside vigil volunteers
  • Certified bereavement counselor
  • Bereavement support available for up to two years, if needed
  • Community-based staff

Patients are free to end their hospice care at any time. In certain cases, a patient’s health may stabilize and he/she may no longer feel the need for services.

We Honor Veterans Partner

We Honor Veterans is a nationally recognized program supported by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association. The program is designed to recognize and support all veterans and to educate staff and community about the special needs of veterans. Southwest General Health Center is a proud partner of this program. Click here if you would like to learn more.

Hospice Programs

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

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 Services

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

Caregiver Support

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.

Hospice Aide

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.

Medical Care

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 Therapy

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.

Nursing Care

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 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

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, caseworkers, social worker, chaplain, patients and families are all a part of the team. Palliative Care Services works in partnership with your physician throughout treatment.

Respite Care

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.

Spiritual Care

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.

Volunteer Coordinator

The volunteer coordinator, together with hospice staff, assesses the needs of the patients, families and caregivers for respite and support 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 440-816-5967.

Let Us Know How We Can Help

We know this can be a difficult time for both patients and their families. Southwest General has a long history of supporting the community and doing our part to improve the quality of life for residents of the Greater Cleveland area—regardless of their current stage of life. For more information about our Hospice Services, please review our frequently asked questions or contact us at 440-816-5040 or