Monthly Archives: April 2015

How Do Families Afford Non-Health Care Hospice-Related Expenses?

By R. Bruce Dalglish

In my role as CEO of Alliance Hospice, a frequent question I encounter is – how do families afford to pay for all of the expenses involved during the end-of-life stage? While many families are fortunate enough to be able to handle some of these expenses, many families struggle to pay for expenses that fall outside of the standard health care realm. These expenses typically cover needs that are significant to the patients’ and families’ physical, emotional and spiritual comfort.

In recognition of this important need, the Alliance Hospice Memorial Fund – a 501 c (3) organization, was established with the following mission in mind: “to honor those who have died on hospice…by providing those we continue to serve with a sense of their personal worth.” The donations made to this fund directly assist Alliance Hospice patients and families, and their needs are assessed by the Alliance Hospice Foundation Board along with the Interdisciplinary team involved.

A sad reality is that a sizeable number of terminally ill patients and their families are not financially prepared or equipped to pay for the expenses incurred during the dying process.

To help these families in need during such an emotional time, the Alliance Hospice Memorial Foundation accepts donations to help cover these important expenses including: funeral costs, airfare for loved ones, assistance with rent/mortgage/utility bills, and even fans for people without air conditioning.

For more information about the Alliance Hospice Memorial Fund, please click here.

About the Author
Bruce Dalglish has served as the Chairman and CEO of Alliance Hospice and All Caring Hospice since 2005. In this role, Bruce Dalglish oversees the development and strategic direction of both companies. From 2008 – 2013, Bruce Dalglish served on the Public Policy Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Follow R. Bruce Dalglish on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Blogs by R. Bruce Dalglish provide educational information, not medical advice. Please consult with your medical providers when making end-of-life care decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Lavon Palmer: Inspiring Alliance Hospice Volunteer

By R. Bruce Dalglish

If only we could clone volunteers like Lavon Palmer, the world would be a better place. When Lavon is not busy working with her husband in their home improvement company, or spending time with her own family, Lavon spends her free time volunteering for Alliance Hospice.

Since last October, Lavon has been committed to caring for an elderly couple as if they were her own family. The wife, an Alliance Hospice patient, is terminally-ill with Alzheimer’s, and her husband is aging and has problems with his vision.

During Lavon’s visits to the couple’s home twice a week, she takes care of their needs. In addition to doing light housekeeping for the husband so that he can spend some time with his friends, Lavon tends to the wife’s physical and emotional needs.

Lavon wipes the wife’s face with a warm washcloth, and gives her manicures and pedicures. “When I come there, I open up the window and turn on country music for her and she just livens up,” recalls Lavon. “It brings me to tears every time, it’s wonderful. It feels extremely good, feels like my family.”

In addition to visiting with the couple, Lavon calls every day to check in to see if they need anything, and often drives the husband to his own doctor visits due to his impaired vision.

One of the most meaningful parts of Lavon’s volunteering is the special impact she’s made: “When I first went there, she really didn’t have any social skills. But now, when I just look into the room where she is, she just looks at me, smiles and laughs.”

Lavon’s step-daughter is a nurse at Alliance Hospice, and is the one who originally recommended that Lavon look into volunteer opportunities there last fall. Now, Lavon says, “It’s very fulfilling because it’s volunteer work, and not a job that I have to do.”

If you are interested in volunteering for Alliance Hospice like Lavon Palmer, please email: info@alliancehospice.com.

About the Author 

Bruce Dalglish has served as the Chairman and CEO of Alliance Hospice and All Caring Hospice since 2005. In this role, Bruce Dalglish oversees the development and strategic direction of both companies. From 2008 – 2013, Bruce Dalglish served on the Public Policy Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Follow R. Bruce Dalglish on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Blogs by R. Bruce Dalglish provide educational information, not medical advice. Please consult with your medical providers when making end-of-life care decisions.

 

 

Resource Offered to Hospice Providers by NHPCO Concerning Terminal Prognosis

By R. Bruce Dalglish

Thanks to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), a new video has been made available for hospice staff nationwide concerning the contours of terminal prognosis.

This new video is a helpful tool for all hospice care providers and staff, as it simplifies the complicated issues surrounding a terminal prognosis and terminal diagnosis. As the NHPCO accurately points out in a recent press release, “ever since the Medicare hospice benefit was established, ‘terminally ill’ has been defined as ‘having a medical prognosis that the individual’s life expectancy is six months or less. Eligibility for the hospice benefit has always hinged on the patient having a terminal prognosis, regardless of the underlying causes.”

It is important for hospice care staff to fully evaluate the comprehensive description of each patient’s terminal prognosis rather than focusing solely on a single diagnosis. Understanding the larger picture ultimately changes the course of care provided by hospice staff, and yields a broader responsibility.

To ensure the highest quality of individualized care for each hospice care patient, a coordinated effort shared by hospice care professionals, physicians, patients and their caregivers should be pursued to ensure that the most precise and timely clinical evaluation is reached and followed through with.

About the Author 

Bruce Dalglish has served as the Chairman and CEO of Alliance Hospice and All Caring Hospice since 2005. In this role, Bruce Dalglish oversees the development and strategic direction of both companies. From 2008 – 2013, Bruce Dalglish served on the Public Policy Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Follow R. Bruce Dalglish on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Blogs by R. Bruce Dalglish provide educational information, not medical advice. Please consult with your medical providers when making end-of-life care decisions.