Hospice is hospice, right? Not exactly. A common misconception about hospice care is that all hospice organizations are the same, but this is far from the truth. Hospice is a philosophy of care that focuses on pain management, symptom control and comfort at the end of life. But, almost every provider is different, and can even offer different services and additional patient programs.
The hospice that took care of your Aunt Susy in Ohio is a different hospice than the one visiting your neighbor across the street. While some hospices belong to a corporate national chain, most are local community hospices that focus on the community in one particular area or county.
Not all hospices are not-for-profit organizations. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, less than one-third of all hospices are actually non-profit organizations. Non-profit hospices are able to fundraise and use donations to cover the cost of care for patients who do not have insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, ensuring that everyone who needs care, gets it.
In Pasco County, patients have a choice.
In Florida, hospices can only care for patients in the county for which they are licensed. This means that in many counties, patients have very few or even one choice for which hospice they will use for care. Pasco County is one of the counties in which patients make the decision of which hospice provider to use. Because Pasco County residents have that option, it’s important to know how to make that educated decision.
If you feel you may be faced with that decision at some point, whether for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to gather all the information ahead of time so that when the time comes, you can easily voice your preference to ensure you receive the care and services you want.
Questions to ask when considering a hospice provider:
• Is it a non-profit organization?
• Are they local and in my area?
• What kind of accreditations have they earned?
• What kind of additional programs do they offer for me and my loved ones?
Gulfside Hospice – Offering Unique Programs To Go Above & Beyond
Every day, more than 450 Pasco County residents receive hospice care from the team at Gulfside Hospice. They emphasize that hospice care is about more than just the patient – it’s about the whole family. With an interdisciplinary approach to care and an array of services and programs, Gulfside Hospice is able to help patients and families live their lives to the fullest.
Because Gulfside is a non-profit organization, they are able to receive special funding and grants that allow the team to offer special programs and services for patients. Three of Gulfside’s programs that make a big impact on patients, families and the community are the We Honor Veterans program, the Pet Peace of Mind program, and Comfort Connections dementia program.
We Honor Veterans
Gulfside is a Level Four partner of the We Honor Veterans program, which is partners with the VA to provide specialized care to patients who are veterans. Currently one out of four hospice patients is a veteran. These patients and their families have very special needs, especially at the end of life. All staff members at Gulfside are trained to care for their unique needs, and they place a special emphasis on pairing veteran patients with veteran volunteers who can better understand their situation.
Pet Peace of Mind
Pets are family. Many times patients come onto hospice care and one of their biggest concerns is what will happen to their pet. The Pet Peace of Mind program at Gulfside helps make sure the pet is cared for with food, supplies and basic veterinary and grooming needs. When the time comes, the team will also work to find a forever home for the pet if needed.
The goal of this program is to provide enhanced care to those living with dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and similar disorders at the end of life. The program offers extra support and resources for caregivers, engagement and socialization projects for patients, education on the disease progress for caregivers, and support groups for the community.
Gulfside Hospice – Providing Quality Care for 30 Years
In addition to these unique programs, Gulfside also provides quality care for the patients based on their individualized plan of care. This includes regular visits from physicians, nurses and CNA’s, the ability to contact the nursing team 24/7, coordination of medical supplies, medication and equipment, spiritual care from chaplains, and so much more.
Gulfside is the only not-for-profit hospice that serves Pasco County exclusively, and was the first hospice in Pasco to receive The Joint Commission’s Seal of Approval Accreditation. To learn more about how Gulfside can help you and your family, call (800) 561-4883 to speak with one of the organization’s experts. For more information, visit Gulfside.org.