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The Many Benefits of Hospice Care

When a family is faced with terminal illness, hospice care can be the best option to make the last months comfortable for their loved one. Hospice is care for terminally ill people, along with support for their loved ones. This philosophy encourages the continuation of a meaningful life in the presence of a life-limiting illness. Hospice care is much more than a place where our loved ones go for the remainder of their days. Hospice was created to provide an opportunity for patients seeking to improve their quality of life.

When the health and well-being of a family member or loved one takes a turn for the worse, deciding the next best step can be difficult. Typically, those who decide on hospice care are expected to have six months or less left to live. This does not mean care only lasts for six months. In fact, hospice care can be provided for as long as the person’s doctor and the hospice care team clarify that conditions remain life-limiting. Many people who receive hospice care have cancer, while others suffer from heart disease, dementia, kidney failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Crozer-Keystone is a well-known leader in hospice care. We have been providing skilled in-hospital and in-home hospice care for nearly 30 years. The Crozer-Keystone Hospice team consists of trained professionals and volunteers with a mindset to help the entire family, not just the terminally ill. Most families work as a unit and Hospice care always keeps the entire family’s best interest at heart. The Hospice team offers services for volunteers to lend a helping hand to loved ones. No professional experience is necessary; a special training session will be held for all prospective volunteers.

A hospice volunteer can help in more ways imaginable. This not only applies to patients, but the entire family as well. Volunteers can help in a variety of tasks, such as, running errands, reading to patients and providing emotional or spiritual support. In addition, volunteer opportunities at Crozer-Keystone’s Hospice Residence, located at Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park, include greeters, host/hostesses, assisting patients during meal times, baking cookies, answering phones and other clerical duties. The volunteer program is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. For more information about becoming a Hospice volunteer, call Judy Lieberman, director of Hospice volunteers, at (610) 595-6071.

With a team of highly trained professionals and volunteers, Crozer-Keystone’s Hospice services offer physical, spiritual and emotional support for patients in both hospital and in-home settings. The Crozer-Keystone Hospice Residence at Taylor Hospital is a 10-bed inpatient unit designed for comfort and ease. The in-home Hospice team consists of physicians, nurses, a social worker, clergy, home health aides, volunteers and therapists that coordinate care with the patient’s physician to develop an individualized plan for care for symptom management and pain relief.

For more information about the Crozer-Keystone Hospice Residence at Taylor Hospital (Inpatient) and home/nursing home Hospice, please call (610) 284-0700 or visit http://www.crozerkeystone.org/services/hospice-care/

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