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Hospice care can be a blessing to one who so desperately needs it. A wonderful place of caring for the individual and focusing on them and what they need, what will make them comfortable. We are fortunate to have incredible centers in the Long Island area. There are many reasons why to choose hospice care for yourself or your loved one. As Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the first modern hospice said, “You matter because of who you are. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”
Why Choose a Hospice Care Center?
When one is reaching the end of their life due to a terminal illness, hospice care may be more important than curative care. With every moment, every minute being precious, it’s important to support one’s right to be comfortable, and to be supported. If you or your loved one wants to be supported medically, spiritually and mentally in their final stages of life, hospice care is a wonderful, compassionate decision.
Through insurance or Medicare, hospice agencies provide four different levels of care:
1. Routine Home Care: This is the common form of support that hospice provides, tending to the patient in the comfort of their own home or assisted living facility.
2. General Inpatient Care: This is short-term care in a facility. Patients are eligible for this if their medical needs are too great for home care. Once treated they are able to return home, or to a home-care setting.
3. Respite Care: To help give caregivers a break, this benefit provides inpatient care for up to five days.
4. Continuous Home Care: This level of care is when a hospice nurse stays in your home for an extended period of time to care for a loved one. Continuous care may be necessary if one is experiencing a medical crisis. Sometimes, more care may be needed, and the patient will be transferred to a hospital.
Hospice in Our Community
Here in our area, we are so very lucky to have fabulous centers nearby. Some of them include:
Long Island Community Hospital Hospice Care
Through LICH a licensed team of professionals will work together to provide hospice care in a home or skilled nursing facility setting. The team will work together to provide continuous care to the patient, and comprises a physician, nurse, home health aide, nutrition counselor, social worker, pastoral care counselor and trained volunteers. The program accepts most major health insurance; however, care will be provided regardless of someone’s financial abilities. For more information, visit their website or call (631) 687-2960.
Good Shepherd Hospice
One of the largest hospices on Long Island, caring for up to 400 patients a day, this amazing center provides various services to greatly improve the lives of its patients. The team of medical experts also includes social workers and chaplains for pastoral care. The Good Shepherd Hospice team can also alleviate some stress by arranging for all medical supplies and medications to be delivered so that a family can spend more time with their loved one.
Good Shepherd has two inpatient centers in the area, one at Rockville Center and one is Port Jefferson. The Rockville Center location has 12 private rooms with accommodations for families to stay as well. The Port Jefferson center has 16 rooms and provides many family gathering spots including a sunroom and gathering pavilion, meditation room, garden patio, children playroom, and family kitchen.
For more information, you can visit their website or call them at (631) 465-6363.
Other Local Programs
We are so fortunate to have other wonderful programs at our disposal, they include:
Visiting Nurse Service and Hospice of Suffolk (631-261-7200)
This program also provides home care, respite care and inpatient care at their Hospice House, the first of its kind in New York State, allowing family (and pets!) to unlimited visiting hours.
Hospice Care Network (631-666-6863)
Through this program, they keep the patient and family’s best interests at heart, by including all as members of their team. They too have a hospice house (The Mary Ann Tully Inn) for respite, or for those who need more care. Here, at the Inn, they also utilize non-traditional therapies, such as massage, Reiki, and pet therapy.
Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State (518-446-1483)
This regional association can help families and patients find the right kind of care that meets their needs, by contacting the organization, or using their website to help look at various programs in the area. Like all hospice organizations, this association keeps the patient’s best interests and dignity at the core of what they do.
These programs and directories are here to assist those as they transition into the final stages of their life. With time being so precious, they all stand to make every minute count, and to provide comfort, care and compassion.