Caregiver Support 2017-09-12T23:21:03+00:00

Considering caring for
your loved one in your home?

Being a caregiver for your loved one is one of the most challenging and most rewarding tasks you will ever do.

Hospice of North Idaho can support you as you take on the role of caregiver.

You will have access to 24-hour nurses to answer your questions, make in-home visits, and treat any symptoms you may experience.  We also offer trained nursing assistants and volunteers for extra support. Appropriate medications and needed medical equipment are provided.

Call now to discuss your unique wishes. No one is ever turned away because of financial circumstances.

Choose comfort. Choose quality.
Choose the community’s trusted Hospice since 1981.

GRIEF & LOSS

Experience our compassion for those in grief. Hospice of North Idaho provides a safe and supportive age appropriate environment to share experiences about the grief process. We believe that no one should have to grieve alone.

LEARN MORE

CAREGIVER SUPPORT

Your Hospice Care Team will provide you education for safe care at home.

One of the greatest gifts can be human contact and loving support.

TIPS

1. Be sure to wash your hands before and after providing care to prevent infection or its spread. Wear gloves if handling body fluids.

2. If using an adjustable bed, raise the level of the bed to reduce the strain on your back during caregiving. Be sure to lower it after care is completed.

3. Don’t over-use powders to keep skin creases dry. Powder tends to cake. Use sparingly. Avoid powder if any respiratory problems are present.

4. Keep skin soft with lotion to help prevent dry skin.

5. Bath time can be a simple sponge bath. It may not be necessary to bathe daily. Always wash clean areas first and move toward more soiled areas last.

6. Oral care should be done at bath time and after meals or more frequently if the patient breathes primarily through their mouth.

7. Your loved one may lose interest in their favorite activities and talk less often. When they talk, use this time to listen. Gentle touch, a listening ear, and silence can be most meaningful.

8. Your loved one may sleep most often, at times they will be more difficult to arouse and when awakened can seem confused and drowsy.

9. You may expect waking dreams. They may report seeing or speaking with loved ones who have died or talk about going on a trip, seeing lights, butterflies, or other things. Listen calmly with acceptance for their experience. If the experience is disturbing to them, talk to your nurse.

10. Your loved one may want less food. It is normal to lose weight and lose appetite. The body naturally shuts down and may not process the food it receives. On the other hand, your loved one may request their favorite meal or drink. Let the patient be the guide.

11. Hearing is the last of the senses to be lost. Share your favorite memories, pray, or play their favorite music.

12. Breathing patterns often become slower or faster in cycles. If you are worried about these changes let your care team know. Oral secretions may increase and collect in the back of the throat producing a rattling noise. This does not mean they are experiencing distress with breathing. The patient may likely be too weak to cough up secretions. Elevate the head of the bed and turn the patient to either side. Your hospice nurse in collaboration with the physician may order medications to decrease this symptom.

13. Extremities of the body may discolor toward purple coloration and feel cool. This is not painful, it is a natural slowing of blood circulation. Keep your loved one covered with a light blanket.

14. Prepare your home to be a safe place to provide care:

a. Make it easy for all visitors to access hand washing areas and post hand washing procedures.
b. Provide cleaning wipes in each room where care is taking place.
c. Reduce the risk of falls by removing rugs, cords/wires/tubes, or other tripping hazards from walking areas.
d. Install grab bars as needed.
e. Store medications in a cupboard or drawer where the caregiver can monitor its access.
f. Talk to Hospice about getting a Life Alert System.
g. Learn correct storage and use of oxygen from Hospice.

PLANNING AND PREPARATION RESOURCES

Families have told us that planning for a
good ending is empowering and honors life.

Our culture prepares so comprehensively for birth, but not for death. There are many decisions about end-of-life care that are beyond medical and estate decisions.  Ask our social workers, and learn more about these resources:

The Conversation Project – Free toolkit about the benefits of taking with your family, and how to have end-of-life discussions.

Visit http://theconversationproject.org/ and watch the video  ABC World News with Diane Sawyer: The Conversation Project.

Death Over Dinner – An uplifting interactive adventure that transforms this seemingly difficult conversation into one of deep engagement, insight and empowerment.

Provides easy Q&A http://deathoverdinner.org/

Being MortalAuthor, Atul Gawande, MD talks about the specialties of trained geriatric doctors, the personal choice for quality of life, and the effect of recent medical approach to treat for hopeful miracles.

Book http://atulgawande.com/book/being-mortal/ and PBS Documentary http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/being-mortal/

Legal Documentation

Idaho Advance Directives packet contains the Idaho Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, and optional organ donation form.  These documents will be used to guide your care if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.

These documents become legally binding upon the signature of the adult. Notarizations are not necessary. Hospice social workers or an attorney can assist in the process, as needed. Talk about your decisions with your family. Change your Directives, as needed. Register your Directives with the Idaho Secretary of State so that healthcare providers and loved ones can access a copy. http://www.sos.idaho.gov/hcdr/index.html

The Idaho POST

A Physician Order for Scope of Treatment (POST) is filled out by your primary care physician in consultation with you. It describes your wishes for medical treatment at the end of life stage due to an incurable disease or irreversible injury. It describes your wishes regarding resuscitation, comfort measures, IV and ventilation interventions, fluids and antibiotics. Your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care cannot override your POST form unless your POA can provide evidence that your last known expressed wishes are different from those indicated on the POST. The POST takes precedence of your care above all other documents.

Additional Resources

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)

NHPCO on Caregiving http://www.caringinfo.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3323

Soul Injury, Healing the Aftermath of War and Trauma (for both 20th and 21st century Veterans): http://www.opuspeace.org/

Veterans Guide to Long-Term Care 

Pet Therapy: How Animals And Humans Heal Each Other http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/03/09/146583986/pet-therapy-how-animals-and-humans-heal-each-other

Grief.com Because love never dies  https://grief.com/

End of Life Parables, a YouTube video series: Creative and helpful representations describing the hard concepts in hospice and palliative care for families and care providers. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEi2lJZnm3Mdo9JNPjaExBg

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Now is the best time to talk about end-of-life planning, needs and wishes. Planning can greatly reduce stress when the time for hospice care is needed. Planning allows patients to make their own decisions and it relieves their family from making uninformed choices for their loved one.  The Conversation Project is a very helpful, self-guided resource to help the conversation get started and determine what end-of-life choices may be. www.theconversationproject.org.

Yes, our care includes caregiver support. Our team will review a caregiver’s handbook and provide any obvious and applicable education at each scheduled visit. Our expert staff is available by phone 24-7, including holidays to take questions and schedule an immediate visit if needed.  Learn more about Caregiver Support.

We have seen the positive difference it makes for families and patients to enroll with Hospice of North Idaho early in a disease progression process, or when treatment is no longer curative.

Call us anytime to discuss your unique situation.

Palliative and Hospice care education can reduce emergency hospital visits, give confidence to caregivers, encourage planning, encourage choice, and supports the grieving process. Families have told us that planning for a good ending is empowering and honors life.

Hospice of North Idaho is staffed 24-hours a day, every day of the year. We take enrollments and questions about enrollment at any time. Care is provided wherever our patient resides including a skilled nursing facility or a residence. Individuals may also choose care at the Schneidmiller House.

We honor our patient’s wishes for how they envision their end of life journey. Comprehensive care includes the patient’s choices for alleviating pain, receiving support in grief, lifestyle changes and spiritual needs.

Palliative care begins at the time of diagnosis even if treatment is ongoing. We help family caregivers stay on top of the increasing amount of care they will provide. Caregivers receive better education, patients receive better care, and a sense of personal choice is brought into their journey. Patients decide when to transition into traditional ‘hospice’ care. Learn more.

Respite Care is available to every Hospice patient. Patients can receive up to 5-days a month of care at the Schneidmiller House, giving caregivers a respite.  Caregivers needing a couple of hours of respite can request a Hospice Respite Volunteer to care for their loved-one at home.

We believe that every person should receive an expert level of care, regardless of their ability to pay. Medicare, Medicaid, V.A. and private insurance are billed. Remaining costs can be covered with charitable care. A social worker will discuss with each patients’ circumstances so that cost is not a barrier to reaching the best hospice care available.  

A doctor’s POST, Living Will and Power of Attorney documents are each helpful for you to experience the care you hope to have. Get the forms here. Notary and attorney approval are required for these to be legally binding.

Each patient’s care team includes registered nurses, social workers, hospice aides, board certified physicians, and a spiritual care coordinator. The patient and the team create a Plan of Care meeting the needs and goals of the patient. Working together we help ensure your comfort, dignity and peace of mind.  Please do not hesitate to ask questions, tell us how you are feeling, or ask for help.

Patients also have access to hospice volunteers who provide additional support. Find out how volunteers can add joy, ease, and comfort.

Volunteers made Hospice of North Idaho what is it today. Our volunteers bolster services by providing companionship, respite visits, pet therapy, veterans companionship, certified massage therapy, bereavement support, and more. Volunteers help our patents be at ease and make quality memories with their family.

Consider the experience you and your loved ones wish to share. Should the end of life experience be rushed, urgent and intense? Should it be peaceful, thought-out, honored, and gracious? Should there be time to resolve relationships or contemplate spirituality? Will the family need support for living without their loved one?

Our philosophy is to care for the whole person and for their family’s life-changing experience. Our comprehensive care ensures that options for care are available and respected.

Hospice offers a time to live fully. Planning care, the tone of the environment, and resolving spiritual and emotional needs makes hospice an incredibly special time. We believe that everyone should have access to the most expert and comprehensive care in our area.  

We serve every community in Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah Counties. Since 1981 our community-owned Hospice has provided expert care for the seriously ill and those touched by loss.

Every patient, regardless of age, or their financial circumstances receives the highest quality of care offered by the most experienced team in North Idaho. We not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

Yes, all medication and medical equipment related to hospice care are covered. Pain medications, beds, walkers, oxygen and other equipment are provided to meet each patient’s needs. Our palliative care doctors prescribe medications and nurses will provide medications and caregiver education.

Yes, Hospice will talk to you about your wishes then will create your Plan of Care. We will make visits, just as in home care. Between visits, the facility staff will implement the Hospice Plan you chose. Our entire team is available to each person; including volunteers, spiritual care, social work and nursing staff.

The Schneidmiller House is offered to our patients as an option. Built in 2011, it is Idaho’s only hospice in-patient unit. Some choose the House for it’s 24-hour nursing care. Some people choose the House as a place where family is welcome and their family caregivers can experience the role as ‘loved-one.’  Discover the place of peace and comfort; take a virtual tour of the Schneidmiller House.

Hospice of North Idaho is accredited by Joint Commission and is Medicare Certified. Joint Commission surveys Hospice of North Idaho to assure compliance with Medicare regulations and additional Joint Commission standards.

Hospice of North Idaho (HONI) is required by applicable federal and state laws to maintain the privacy of your health information. We are also required to give patients our Notice of Privacy Practices.

Yes. Hospices are not all the same; in fact they can be quite different. Hospices can be for- profit, non-profit, hospital-based, home health- based, or independent. Different hospices have different levels of expertise, philosophies of care, depth of services and approaches to patient and family care.

Hospice of North Idaho, the only local, fully non-profit hospice. We direct all of our resources to ensure that members of the community will live as fully as possible at the end of life. Hospice of North Idaho is the longest established hospice in the area.