When home is where the heart is… that’s where you should be, too. Peterson Health offers the loving and compassionate health care you and your family need at every moment. We are the ONLY health care system in the Hill Country to combine world class care for end of life or living life!
Peterson Health is the only not-for-profit system to offer Hospice, Transitional-Palliative, and Home Care under one roof. Each compassionate service provides the patient and caregivers help and hope. But thinking in advance about these needs and starting the conversation takes bravery. At Peterson Health, we do. No other place in the region has hospice and home health under one roof. We (beautifully) do! When you have to make the toughest choices for the ones you love, we can help.
HOSPICE: Exceptional, Compassionate, Patient-Centered Care
The word hospice means “a place of shelter.” Today, the place of shelter is not so much a physical location as it is a service that helps terminally ill patients pass away with dignity and peace. Hospice care can support a terminally ill patient at home or wherever he or she lives.
Care usually involves relieving troublesome symptoms and providing psychological and social support for the patient and their family. The goal of hospice care is to provide the terminally ill patient and the family with a comfortable death experience, while also enabling the person to live to the fullest, even with a terminal prognosis.
To qualify for hospice care, a patient usually has a life expectancy of less than six months.
Learning more about hospice can help you make informed decisions when the time arises. Here are answers to some common questions:
Who makes up a hospice care team, and what kind of services do they provide?
The Peterson Hospice care team includes a number of specialists in addition to the terminally ill person and his or her family members. The team is most often made up of a doctor, nurses, home health aides, social workers, therapists, spiritual counselors, and trained volunteers.
Hospice programs provide:
- Nursing care 24 hours a day, including relief of pain and symptoms
- Coordination of a hospice care plan with the patient’s doctor’s care plan
- Spiritual and emotional help for the patient and grief support for family members
Where does hospice care take place, and how can I pay for it?
Hospice can take place in the ill person’s home, the home of a family member, or in a nursing facility, nursing home, hospital, or hospice facility.
Medicare, Medicaid (in most states), some private health insurance policies, and veteran’s benefits cover hospice care. Some hospice programs offer a sliding fee scale for those in need.
What services does Peterson Hospice care provide?
Hospice services are similar to home health care services, but also include:
- Spiritual services
- On-call care or 24-hour care
- Bereavement support
- Volunteer services
- The choice of having a death attended by hospice staff
PALLIATIVE CARE: A Calling
Palliative and hospice care are similar in that they both provide relief from physical and emotional pain, alleviation of suffering for the patient, and support for his or her family. However, there are some important differences:
- Hospice programs are only for people who are expected to live six months or less. Palliative care is available to people at any time during their illness, no matter how long they are expected to live.
- Patients who are receiving palliative care can continue to get treatments that could cure their illness. Those in hospice do not receive such treatments.
- Palliative care services are covered by most insurances. The payment mechanism is similar to how your primary care provider or specialists gets reimbursed.
Peterson Palliative Care provides these services:
- Prescribe treatments to control pain or other distressing symptoms
- Order diagnostic tests to determine the cause of symptoms
- Order care services from other disciplines as needed, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, wound care, and home care
- Education on disease progression or how to manage illness
- Advance Care Planning to assist with difficult decisions
- Care coordination with other doctors and health care providers
- Emotional and spiritual support
- 24/7 on-call service by Advance Practice Providers
- Consults at your place of residence, such as a private home or nursing facility
- Consults in a hospital upon request of hospital medical team
Recent research indicates that early involvement of palliative care may actually help people who are dealing with serious medical issues live longer.
HOME CARE: World Class Care from Home Sweet Home
Before modern medicine, caring for someone medically in the home was quite common and hospitalization was rare. Today, with a growing trend toward reduced hospital stays, home health care is gaining in popularity. While caregivers of the past were generally family members or friends, home health care today usually consists of a professional health care team working toward a common goal.
Today home health care may be considered for patients who are:
- Recovering from an illness
- Undergoing treatment
- Chronically ill
- Terminally ill
Peterson Home Care services include:
- Health care provider care
- Nursing care
- Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
- Medical social services
- Care from home health aides
- Homemaker or attendant care
- Volunteer care
- Nutritional support
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Laboratory and X-ray imaging
- Pharmaceutical services
- Home-delivered meals
A patient may receive one of these services or a combination of several services.
NEW: Monitoring Your Health from Home
Peterson Home Health now offers a remote monitoring platform that allows you to communicate with your health care team from the comfort of your home. The Medtronics system is a mobile device that asks you questions about how you’re feeling and helps you share information, such as your current weight and other important vital signs, with your health care team. The information is reviewed by experienced clinical staff who will contact you to learn more about your health status, if needed. They also provide reports to your primary care physician. All of this is designed to give you peace of mind and:
- Enable your health care team to provide personalized care
- Help you to follow your prescribed plan of care
- Identify trends in your health status and potentially intervene before problems occur
- Help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations or emergency room visits
To learn more, call Peterson Home Care at 830.258.7400.
This article is featured in the Winter 2020 issue of Elevating Health, a quarterly publication produced by Peterson Health.