Our UnityPoint Hospice team serves under the belief that every person deserves extraordinary end-of-life care delivered by a team they can trust. Whether it’s your care or that of a family member, our team of experts will ensure you receive compassionate care focused on comfort. Our comprehensive hospice services include arranging for medical equipment, supplies and medications, managing pain and symptoms, and providing spiritual care, respite care and bereavement services.
Services provided in hospice care can include:
- Pain and symptom control
- Spiritual care
- Home care and inpatient care
- Respite care
- Family conferences
- Bereavement support
When a life-limiting illness no longer responds to treatment, the conversation about next steps is one that no one can ever be fully prepared to have, whether it is your own end-of-life care or that of a family member. That is why UnityPoint provides hospice services, so that you can have an experienced and knowledgeable professional help you as you face the reality of the situation.
There are two common misconceptions about hospice – that it is a type of health care facility and that it is only for those very close to the end of life. In fact, hospice care is most often provided in the comfort of the home. Hospice is suitable for patients who have elected to move from curative treatment to symptom treatment of their life limiting illness or those who are expected to be within the last six months of life.
Hospice does not prolong life nor does it hasten death, but instead focuses on creating a life full of comfort, dignity and peace for people in the final stages of life. Hospice addresses the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of every patient while also providing support for the entire family. The sooner a patient receives hospice care, the sooner these comforting benefits begin.
Anyone can make a referral for hospice care and initiate the discussion, but it must be your doctor who confirms your prognosis with the hospice medical director. Once the prognosis has been confirmed, a hospice nurse will contact you to schedule a home visit within the next 24 to 48 hours or sooner if the need for hospice care is immediate. Your doctor will continue to be a part of your care, but in a coordinated care approach with your hospice team. They will do everything necessary to make this transition into hospice care as easy and comfortable as possible for you and your family.
Hospice fees are covered by Medicaid, Medicare, and most insurance plans. However, no one will be denied hospice care based on an inability to pay.
The hospice staff at UnityPoint Hospice is a knowledgeable and caring group of individuals who will do everything necessary to help you during this time. No one should ever have to consider hospice care alone. Please do not hesitate to contact our location nearest you with any questions or concerns.
Comfort therapy services vary by location. Please contact your closest hospice office for full details.
UnityPoint Hospice understands that response to treatment or therapy is individual and that what works for some might not be as effective for others. This is why UnityPoint Hospice also offers alternative forms of comfort therapy for hospice patients.
Comfort therapy can help improve the quality of life by alleviating symptoms of pain and providing relaxation and comfort. Our hospice patients benefit from a variety of different therapies that include:
- Massage therapy is one of the most effective forms of therapy that is offered by UnityPoint Hospice. Numerous studies have been done that show the power of touch. Massage therapy has been proven to not only have a positive effect on heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, but also the mental state-of-being by allowing the hospice patient to relax and reduce anxiety.
- Music therapy is a growing service in hospice care as studies continue to show that listening to music can help alleviate pain, fatigue and anxiety. It is one of the most popular forms of alternative therapy, along with massage therapy.
- Animal-assisted therapy provides hospice patients with visits from a volunteer team of specially-trained dogs and their handlers. Paws With A Purpose is the name of UnityPoint Hospice's animal-assisted therapy program. A dog/handler team comes to a patient's place of residence or a hospice facility to spend time with hospice patients. All dogs are up-to-date on vaccinations and medications, have undergone rigorous temperament testing, are registered therapy dogs and are insured for liability purposes. The dog handler is also a trained hospice volunteer and facilitates the visit.
If a patient requires something more than the standard therapy options, these alternative forms of comfort therapy may be the solution. The UnityPoint Hospice staff is available 24 hours a day to help you in any way they can. Please do not hesitate to contact your regional office for more information.
The UnityPoint Hospice team is a team of health care professionals and volunteers who coordinate care to provide the highest quality of physical, emotional and spiritual support based on the needs of each individual hospice patient.
A hospice care team typically includes:
- A primary care doctor and a hospice doctor or medical director who manages the hospice care team.
- Nursing staff who come to the patient's place of residence or inpatient facility to provide care.
- Hospice aides who are responsible for the routine care for the patient, such as bathing or eating.
- Spiritual counselors, such as chaplains or priests, who offer spiritual care and guidance for the hospice patient and their family.
- Social workers who provide counseling and support and can provide referrals for appropriate resources.
- Pharmacists provide suggestions for medications that can effectively relieve symptoms that the patient is experiencing.
- Trained hospice volunteers who offer a variety of services depending on the patient's needs. Services range from companionship to emotional support to running errands and providing much-needed respite breaks for family members.
- Therapists such as speech, physical and occupational therapists.
- Bereavement counselors are available to provide support and guidance after the death of a loved one in hospice.
Each member of the hospice care team plays a vital role in the success of delivering the highest quality of care for each hospice patient. The hospice team always respects the values and wishes of the patient and family. This team will be with you every step of the way to ensure you are supported and cared for during the end-of-life experience.
At UnityPoint Hospice, our goal is to support patients and their families to live every moment fully. No one in need of hospice care is ever refused assistance by UnityPoint Hospice, regardless of their ability to pay.
Since not all of our services and programs are reimbursed by medical insurance, we depend on the generosity of individuals like you to help us ensure our end-of-life patients can receive the quality, compassionate hospice care they deserve.
Your donation will be used to support our hospice mission and programs. This includes comfort therapies like massage and music therapy, educational programs on pain and symptom control and end-of-life issues, and medical equipment to provide comfort for patients with life-limiting illnesses. Every financial contribution to UnityPoint Hospice makes a difference in the lives of those we serve. You can also honor the memory of a loved one by making a donation in their name to UnityPoint Hospice.
No matter the size of the donation, any bit helps our patients and their families when they need it most. Please consider making a donation today.