Archive of entries by Janny Adkins
8 Jul, 2011
In nursing, we know first impressions are vital. The Alive Hospice admission nurse is one of the first members of the team of that provides care for our patients and families. Because the admission nurse is the first member of the team to arrive, her or his face is the face of Alive Hospice.
They set the expectations, the tone, and experience the patient and family will use to form their perception of Alive Hospice. READ MORE
Hospice is about living, not just dying!
18 Mar, 2011
I have been involved with hospice care for 30-plus years. I started a rural hospice in Iowa in l980, and lobbied for the Medicare Hospice Benefit in Washington, D.C. I remember when it was considered practically criminal to stop aggressive, curative care for individuals when a cure was not possible.
As a society we have moved beyond that attitude in some ways, and yet our cultural attitude towards death often still causes people to avoid and fear hospice care. READ MORE
There‚Äôs no harm in asking (and asking may be just what the doctor ordered)
I am writing today about you taking the lead in speaking with your physician about hospice. Did you know that you can? Most people do not.
When a person (whether a patient or family caregiver) brings up the subject of hospice, often it is much easier for the physician to discuss this option. It can be difficult for physicians, who may be afraid that you or your family will believe they are giving up hope and abandoning you if they bring up the subject of hospice. If you bring it up, it gives them permission to offer hospice care to you. READ MORE
The faces of Alive Hospice
8 Nov, 2010
Recently, a friend asked me how I would describe the people that work for Alive Hospice. Without hesitation, I responded.
People who work at Alive Hospice have a calling. Deep down, within their heart and bones, it just makes sense to them. It doesn‚Äôt matter if the person is in direct patient care, billing, or other supportive roles. Most are working for Alive Hospice because they want to make a genuine difference in other‚Äôs lives. And they do. READ MORE
Hospice isn’t “there’s nothing more we can do.” Here’s what we CAN do.
4 Aug, 2010
When I speak to families and patients about hospice care, they often express confusion, because they have the misconception that hospice care is only for those individuals who are very near death. This is one of the biggest misconceptions regarding hospice care.
Hospice care is for those individuals who have chosen to not pursue curative goals of their disease. This does not mean that ‚Äúthere is nothing more to be done.‚ÄĚ It does mean that the focus of care is on management of the symptoms of the disease process, thereby allowing patients and their families to live and enjoy life as long as possible. READ MORE
A different kind of hope
8 June, 2010
Patients, families, and health care providers are often hesitant to call in a hospice program because they mistakenly believe that hospice equals giving up hope. I would say in reality, a referral to hospice is a redefinition of hope, one that includes hoping for an increased quality of life.
Yes, a hospice referral indicates that the patient is experiencing a life-threatening disease; however, it is not always an imminent death for the patient. Believe it or not, research indicates that with specific diseases like Congestive Heart Failure, a patient enrolled in a hospice program may live approximately 86 days longer than patients with the same illness who don’t have hospice. With cancer patients, the number of increased quality days averages 30. Further, patients are sometimes discharged from hospice programs for extended prognosis, a fact that many patients and families are unaware of. READ MORE
Hospices and faith communities: A strong spiritual connection
16 Mar, 2010
Historically there has been a strong connection between hospice care and churches. In other parts of our country, churches originally were the driving impetus to initiate hospice care. The mission of most hospices and faith groups find shared mandates and common ground.
Both desire to minister to the needs of people who are in need of compassionate loving care, throughout life and especially during death and a life-threatening illness. READ MORE¬†
“What’s the difference between hospice and home health?”
12 Feb, 2010
Every once in a while when I speak with a family about Alive Hospice services, a patient or family member asks, “What can Alive Hospice do for me that home health care cannot do?”
Good question. Both types of health care are excellent and understanding the differing focus of each can help select the best program to fit the patient‚Äôs needs. READ MORE¬†
Teachable moments: opportunities to talk about hospice
11 Jan, 2010
I often am asked to do information visits to provide families and patients with correct information about hospice services. I am always frustrated and sad when I hear from a family what other health care providers have incorrectly told them about hospice services.
Unfortunately, well-meaning health care providers who are not informed about hospice services can provide false information, thereby increasing the patient and family‚Äôs anxiety levels and confusion regarding hospice. READ MORE
Thanksgiving is about more than turkey and pumpkin pie. It’s something we should practice regularly.
As we approach this season of traditional thanks-giving, my mind turns naturally to the act of expressing gratitude. The act of looking for something for which to be grateful is a valuable life skill that can hold all of us in good stead.
Most of my life lessons have been learned from my hospice experiences. Learning to be grateful for the simple pleasures is one life skill that is invaluable. It is attention to and cultivating an awareness of those experiences that create a feeling of connection which form the foundation for gratitude. READ MORE