Each hospice patient has a team of professionals and trained volunteers available to quickly respond to patient and family needs. These team members include:
The physician the patient knows and trusts continues as an integral part of the hospice team. Hospice complements rather than replaces the primary physician’s care.
Benton Hospice Service’s physician is available to consult with other staff members or with the patient’s own physician. The Medical Director oversees all care.
Hospice dedicates a primary nurse to provide all regular care. Other nurses may respond at night and on weekends. The designated nurse maintains regular communication with the patient’s primary physician and coordinates the entire team’s efforts.
A pharmacist with special expertise in medications for control of pain and other symptoms advises the hospice team.
The Medical Social Worker collaborates with the patient, family and the hospice team to address emotional aspects and practical needs related to the terminal illness. These often include stress that serious illness can cause, relationship concerns, financial issues, or safety and caregiving challenges. The social worker
provides counseling and emotional support and can arrange for additional community resources as well.
Physical, occupational, massage, and speech therapists are available, as well as a dietician and acupuncturist. Many hospice patients find comfort and stress relief through massages by licensed massage therapists.
A non-denominational chaplain is available to help patients and families think through important life issues in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. Benton Hospice Service is not associated with any religion. If desired, the chaplain can also assist in connecting the patient with a faith community.
These Certified Nursing Assistants provide regular personal care such as help with bathing, grooming and changing linens in a professional and respectful manner. They may provide light housekeeping to keep the patient’s immediate living area clean and comfortable. They can also offer emotional support for family members.
Trained volunteers are available to provide companionship for patients, or a brief respite for caregivers, to ensure that family and friends providing care have at least a few hours a week “off.” They may also record life stories, play music, build wheelchair ramps, provide transportation, go shopping, prepare meals, and help in many other ways.