May 1, 2018

Unity Hospice Weighs In: What is Hospice?

So often when we hear the word “hospice,” many of us think “death”. What we don’t hear enough about is enhanced quality of life because of hospice.

For starters, you might be asking yourself, “What is hospice?”

The first modern day hospice was established in 1967. This first hospice was founded on the ideals of Dr. Cicely Saunders and Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who both recognized an unmet need for end-of-life care.

This initial approach to care, along with advances in palliative care and the introduction of holistic support, has led to the development of hospice care as we know it today.

Hospice is a type of medical care that is focused on an alternative goal: Managing pain and symptoms caused from a disease or illness that is not likely to be cured. Discovering comfort, relief from pain and quality of life is what hospice is here for.

“Every year, nearly 1.4 million people living with a life-limiting illness receive care from hospices in this country,” said Edo Banach, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “These highly-trained professionals ensure that patients and families find dignity, respect, and love during life’s most difficult journey.”

Although all hospices believe in the same basic philosophy, it is the premier level of care that is delivered by Unity Hospice that truly sets them apart.

Unity Hospice has been serving patients and families throughout Illinois, Indiana and Missouri for over 25 years. When faced with a terminal illness, either you or a loved one, Unity Hospice is available to step in to provide specialized care and support along the entire journey.

Typically, hospice care is offered for patients with 6 months or less to live. However, everyone’s circumstances are different. Some patients receive care for less time, and some for much longer. Some even get better, and no longer need hospice.

But the sooner you or your loved one explores its advantages, the more beneficial the outcome of care.

The care provided by Unity Hospice is a joint effort, dependent on a team of physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains and volunteers that provide levels of hospice care dependent on patient and family goals. Patients receive a customized care plan, based on their individual illness and prognosis, which addresses their unique physical, emotional and spiritual needs that often accompany a terminal illness.

“The heart of Unity Hospice is the caring compassionate team that provides patient-centered care for individuals and their loved ones,” states Unity Hospice Administrator Deb Rolf. “Each of us are dedicated to enriching the hospice and palliative care patient experience. From office staff to volunteers to clinical staff, we are all responsible for ensuring that the patient’s and family’s needs are met”.

Unity hospice is also there for the family. They provide practical and grief support that families find especially helpful during difficult times. The Unity Hospice team also helps to deepen the understanding of and preparation for the stages of end-of-life, as well as provide professional resources to help make confident decisions regarding advance care planning.

You may not realize that deciding which hospice to go with is your choice. You don’t have to use a hospice affiliated with your doctor or hospital, and you don’t have to use a specific hospice just because a health care provider recommended it. It is your right to choose the hospice that you truly want for your loved one.

Many people choose Unity Hospice because the experience Unity provides is unmatched. Unity was founded with a desire to care, and that care and warmth flows through all parts of Unity Hospice today.

Other reasons why people choose Unity Hospice is because they own their own medical equipment, rather than contracting with third party vendors, which allows for quick medical equipment delivery. Supplementary programs to enhance social and emotional well-being are also offered, including but not limited to, comfort from animals, live music performances and personalized music programs directed at Alzheimer’s patients – but can virtually benefit all patients. Being a family owned and operated institution, Unity Hospice puts people before profit.

In addition, Unity Hospice comes to you – wherever it is you call home. Whether a patient is in a private home, a nursing home or other care facility, Unity Hospice will be there for you. The staff at Unity Hospice does their utmost to ensure that patients and families experience comfort, dignity and tranquility, wherever they are.

The services provided by Unity Hospice are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, and no person is turned away because of an inability to pay.

For more information, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact your local office or visit our Contact Us page.

Ultimately, Unity Hospice is there to help you help the ones you love.