Hospice care consists of a wide range of services provided by various caregivers. When you choose Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, you and your family are at the center of the hospice care team.
Our specially trained hospice team members ensure the highest level of expertise when working with you and your physician in developing your individualized plan of care. Staff members undergo extensive and ongoing training that is specially designed to address your hospice care needs. In addition, many of our staff are certified in specialty areas. All professional staff—registered nurses; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; social workers; and pastoral counselors—maintain current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.
Because our agency works with local universities and colleges, you may also meet students who are studying nursing, therapy, social worker and nutrition.
Your physician prescribes the care, medication and special equipment necessary to promote comfort and quality of life. Your physician certifies that you are eligible to receive hospice services, directs your plan of care, and receives updates from the hospice team on a regular basis.
Hospice medical director
The hospice medical director oversees the medical services provided to each hospice client and works in collaboration with your physician to ensure the best possible management of pain or other symptoms. He or she is available as a resource to the hospice team and your attending physician. The medical director also certifies that you are eligible for hospice care and works with the hospice team in the development of your care plan.
Hospice nurses coordinate your total care. They provide skilled nursing care and services based on a physician's orders and the needs of you and your family. Hospice nurses specialize in the management and relief of pain and other symptoms. They perform prescribed medical treatments, teach family members and caregivers proven techniques for providing care, and arrange for medical needs such as equipment or prescription medications. A hospice nurse is available to address your questions and needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Hospice social workers
Hospice social workers provide emotional support to you and your family. They can also help serve as a guide in decision making related to care preferences and assist in arranging for needed services or other resources. The hospice social worker assesses your needs as well as those of your family, helping to strengthen coping and relieve caregiver stress.
Pastoral counselors provide support to you and your family with full respect for individual values and beliefs. They may also contact community clergy if requested.
Physical therapists provide supportive rehabilitation services, specializing in maximizing mobility and function. Physical therapists may help to provide you with opportunities to live to the maximum of your ability, while also promoting safety in and out of the home. Goals of physical therapy treatments include pain relief, maintenance of activity level, and assisting with decline in function.
Occupational therapists teach individuals with physical, cognitive, and/or visual problems how to regain their activities of daily living to live as independently as possible. The occupational therapist may work with the you and your caregivers to adapt personal routines that have been disrupted by illness.
Speech therapists assist in the areas of communication, cognitive function and swallowing. Speech therapists use specialized techniques to maintain maximum independence in communication and allow for nutritional intake at the most optimal level.
Registered dietitians evaluate special dietary and nutritional needs related to your medical condition. They provide education and counseling about your needs, taking into account your personal preferences as well as religious or other restrictions. If your doctor recommends dietary changes, or if you are undergoing treatment that affects your appetite, your hospice nurse may recommend the services of a registered dietitian.
Home health aides
Home health aides provide personal care services needed to manage your illness. The home health aide follows a plan of care that is written by the Hospice Nurse based on your needs. Examples of care provided include assistance with bathing, dressing and meal preparation. All of our home health aide staff undergo extensive training and are certified in the state of Pennsylvania. Our home health aides also receive ongoing education and training. Although not a requirement, most of our home health aides are also CPR certified.
Volunteers provide support to patients and families in many ways. Volunteers can help by providing friendly visiting and companionship, assisting with errands, sharing hobbies and special interests and providing respite to your caregiver. Hospice volunteers are carefully screened and participate in an extensive hospice training program. In addition, they receive ongoing training and are supervised by our volunteer coordinator.
Bereavement counselors offer grief support for up to a year following loss through phone contact, newsletters, individual sessions, and support groups. Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice also offers specialized grief support for children.