What is Hospice Care and How Can AEC Living Help?

What is Hospice Care?

It’s a specialized and compassioned kind of care focused on helping individuals and their caregivers who have been diagnosed with an advanced, life limiting illness.   Typically, for people who have an incurable disease, hospice is often recommended when they are expected to live six months or less.  There are cases where people have lived for years after going on hospice. The overall care approach, faith, and one’s overall resolve can sometimes explain this anomaly.  

According to the American Cancer Society –

“The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life: it affirms life, but does not try to hasten or postpone death.  Hospice care treats the person and symptoms of the disease, rather than treating the disease itself.  A team of professionals work together to manage symptoms so that a person’s last days may be spent with dignity and quality of life surrounded by their loved ones.  Hospice care is also family centered – It includes the patient and the family in making decisions”.

 “You matter because of who you are. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”

Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the first modern hospice movement

How can AEC Living help?

Since inception, AEC Living has consistently focused on promoting quality of life and achieving the greatest level of independence possible. And doing this while working to make sure residents are able to maintain their dignity. This focus is remarkably aligned with the Hospice Care approach.

How does Hospice Care work at AEC Living (Waters Edge Lodge and Elders Inn)?

  1. A physician determines the existance of advanced illness or terminal disease and offers a prognosis of 6 months or less.
  2. The facility Administrator, or Nurse, schedules a care conference with resident/potential resident and responsible parties to discuss options and our ability to admit new hospice residents.
  3. The responsible party talks with the resident’s primary care physician to gain medical approval for hospice care.
  4. The primary care physician issues a medical order for hospice.
  5. The family selects a hospice agency that best fits their personal criteria. 
  6. We coordiate the set-up of the resident’s room with the chosen agencey.
  7. We officially admitted the resident to the facility. 
  8. Hospice now becomes the lead medical care provider for the resident and its family.
  9. Resident and family members are eligible to participate in various hospice services. These specialized services include: Spiritual Care, Nursing Services, and both Anticipatory Grief and Family Counseling.
  10. AEC Living coordinates and schedules a care conference with hospice and family/responsible party. The meeting ensures everyone understands and agrees about the resident’s care plan.
  11. Additional or high care needs may require family assistance or the services of a home care agency.  This is often the case when the resident requires 24 hour around the clock care.  This is primarily due to the fact that we are not a skilled nursing facility.
  12. In the event of a medical emergency, we always call the hospice nurse first in lieu of 911. This is primarily to make sure the resident’s Advanced Health Care Directive followed.
  13. Finally, after the resident has passed away, we call the agency to notify them of the resident’s passing.  The agency comes to the facility and officially pronounces the resident deceased.

Many AEC Living families have expressed their profound gratitude and appreciation for our approach to the entire process.  We stand ready and available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have as you explore end of life options for dignity and quality of life for yourself or your loved ones.