Our hospice team provides patient care in a number of settings – from home to assisted living facilities to nursing or long term care facilities. The team is made up of carefully selected and screened professionals that provide the same high quality care that physicians and patients alike have come to expect from Sentara. You can be confident that our staff treats patients and family members with the utmost of care and respect.
Services for physical, occupational and speech therapists and registered dietitian services are available with physician orders and if indicated as part of the plan of care.
Family caregiving or informal caregiving by relatives and friends represents the key factor of hospice home care. Caregivers are involved in helping the hospice patient manage to carry out the tasks of daily living. This can be a turbulent, confusing and yet vital time because of the changes that take place physically, emotionally and spiritually. Caregiving is best accomplished when attention can be given to creating shared caregiving with those who can care for the person as well as each other. Appointing a primary caregiver who can coordinate the activities and communications is helpful. The hospice team is available to assist you in dealing with the demands of caregiving and offers some suggestions.
- Develop support systems for caregiving. Accept help from other family members, friends, church and community.
- As much as possible maintain a routine where there is a certain predictability to each day. Life then retains some familiar and reassuring qualities for both patient and caregiver.
- Preserve your strength and pace yourself. Eat nutritious food, get adequate rest and sleep. Exercise and some form of breaks are essential.
- Recognize that caregiving is an emotionally charged activity. There can be satisfaction in doing something significant for this person, often making possible the fulfillment of the wish to die at home. Through this process, new depths of love, understanding and appreciation between caregiver’s and loved ones can evolve.
- Recognize that caregiver’s often experience feelings of guilt, anger, fear, loneliness and depression and a sense that one’s life has been dislocated. Expecting that these are common feelings can help in dealing with them, but it is also important to seek social support in dealing with them. Talk with a sympathetic and concerned listener about your feelings.
Your hospice nurse, social worker and/or chaplain are available to help you think through caregiving issues.
Volunteers play a vital role on the Sentara Hospice team. Nationwide, hospices are mandated by Medicare to have at least 5 percent of their hours be done by volunteers. At Sentara Hospice, we are proud to say that 13 percent of our hours are completed by volunteers.
Hospice volunteers are compassionate, sensitive people, many of whom have been through a hospice experience with someone dear to them. It is recommended that someone wait a year after the death of a loved one before becoming a hospice volunteer.
There are numerous ways that volunteers can be utilized. See types of volunteers listed below. To find out more or to schedule an interview call our volunteer coordinator at 540-433-4276. All volunteers are invited to a monthly support luncheon and to annual in-service events. Volunteers are considered a critical part of the hospice team, and their observations and feedback are valued by the whole team. Volunteers who go through training are asked to give an average of four hours a week for at least a year.
Types of volunteers include:
- Patient/family volunteers
- Vigil volunteers
- Bereavement volunteers
- Administrative volunteers
- Volunteers sewing memory bears
- Special event volunteers
- Chaplaincy volunteers
- Thank you note writers