Bringing Hospice to Residential Care Communities
Providing hospice care is one of the most rewarding roles in health care. Gilchrist teams that work in Residential Community Care (RCC) settings provide care for patients in assisted living or long-term care facilities and offer support for their loved ones. By partnering with facilities, we can provide the same services and support for patients in residential communities as we do for those living in traditional homes.
Hospice in the Residential Care Setting
Hospice is designed to provide palliative care and emotional support to the terminally ill in a home or homelike setting. Our goal is always to help every patient and loved one to cherish every moment of life.
Working in the RCC setting presents unique opportunities. Partnering with the many communities and facilities in the area allows us to broaden our reach and potentially provide care earlier in a patient’s illness. This was especially important this past year during the peak of the pandemic.
Connecting Families with Loved Ones in Facilities
The elderly are especially vulnerable to the exposure and transmission of the coronavirus. Because of this, nursing homes, assisted living and long-term care facilities had to implement strict restrictions to keep their patients as safe as possible. This meant that friends and family were not able to visit their loved ones even if they were enrolled in hospice.
Our role as hospice providers became even more important as we had to help create a bridge between families and patients. We made lots of extra phone calls to discuss what was happening and kept families connected through technologies like FaceTime.
Doing What We Do Best
During the height of the pandemic, hospice teams were some of the only people allowed into residential facilities to care for and be with the patient. So, we suited up in our personal protective equipment (PPE) and showed up to do what we do best.
Being able to spend time with a person who is in their last days, hours or minutes is truly sacred. It was so gratifying to hear from families who said, “Thanks for holding my mom’s hand when I can’t do it myself” and “Thanks for being a voice for my dad when I can’t be there.”
Throughout the pandemic, we have provided comfort and care to hundreds of patients in residential facilities and their families. Thankfully, area nursing homes are now allowing families to visit their loved ones, and we will continue to provide our care and support to residents and their families. We are privileged to be able to help all those who have entrusted Gilchrist with their care to cherish every moment of life.