Hospice of the Western Reserve: Providing Care at Home During Pandemic
When family members are diagnosed with a terminal illness, time becomes more precious than ever. Many people prefer to spend that time in the comfort of their own home. Hospice of the Western Reserve is making that happen, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Technology and customized care plans are used to protect patients, families and staff during the pandemic. This allows the nonprofit agency to continue providing care to meet each patient’s specific needs. Nurses still conduct in-person visits during the admissions process and whenever they are needed to manage pain or other symptoms. Hospice nursing assistants (HNAs) visit the home to help with personal care and daily living tasks. During their visits, nurses and HNAs always follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and wear masks and gloves.
Telehealth capabilities allow nurses, social workers and spiritual care coordinators to conduct video-based visits and maintain regular weekly contact while observing social distancing protocols. Social work and spiritual care services, as well as art and music therapies, are available through video visits or telephone check-ins.
Hospice of the Western Reserve’s support staff – available through a 24-hour help line - is skilled at managing calls and providing appropriate care. In an emergency, such as a new uncontrolled symptom, the hospice team helps families assess and manage the circumstances, which may involve a visit to the home.
Care and support are provided not only for a patient, but for their entire family. That includes bereavement support for more than a year after a loved one’s death. The agency’s Western Reserve Grief Services offers programs to anyone needing assistance on their grief journey. Services include virtual support groups, art therapy workshops and specialized programs for grieving children.
For families seeking help, an in-person admissions visit from a nurse can be scheduled the same day if needed. For more information, contact Hospice of the Western Reserve seven days a week, 24 hours a day at 216.383.3700, or visit hospicewr.org.