Friday, June 22, 2018
Health

A hospice care primer and how to find care in the Tampa Bay area

Hospices started opening in the United States in the 1970s, primarily for cancer patients who chose not to continue treatment. Over the years, hospices have evolved to also care for people suffering from heart and lung disease, dementia and other progressive ailments.

If a doctor thinks someone has less than six months to live, that person can qualify for services. Hospice agencies provide doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains to help patients ease toward their end, often at home.

"We help them live without pain," said Marci Pruitt, vice president of Suncoast Hospice, which serves Pinellas County. "And we support the families, for a few hours a week or continuous care, during the time of crisis and even long after that."

Medicare pays for most hospice services; general care gets $150 a day, an estimated $17 billion annually. From 2000-12, the number of Medicare patients receiving hospice care more than doubled. More than 5,500 hospice programs in the United States now serve 1.5 million patients, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization says.

In Florida, 43 hospices saw 116,958 patients in 2013; most were 65 or older.

Suncoast, part of Empath Health, started in 1977 in a tiny office near the now-razed Pinellas Park mall. In 2013, the not-for-profit agency had 7,831 patients. Some were in hospitals, others in nursing homes or care centers. But most remained at home or with relatives.

"So many of our patients die less than a week after coming to us," Pruitt said. "We want people to come earlier so we can help."

For more information about Suncoast Hospice services in Pinellas County, go to thehospice.org or call (727) 467-7423.

For services in Hillsborough County, contact LifePath Hospice at chaptershealth.org or call toll-free 1-800-355-8170.

In Pasco County, contact Gulfside Hospice at ghppc.org our call toll-free 1-800-561-4883.

Also in Pasco and Hernando counties, contact Hernando-Pasco Hospice at hph-hospice.org or call toll-free 1-866-940-0962.

Comments
ScART program empowers people to explore their scars and express their feelings through art

ScART program empowers people to explore their scars and express their feelings through art

ST. PETERSBURGShyly, 8-year-old Annabelle Brassfield climbed atop a stool in front of a blank easel, grabbed a brush she named Scarlet and prepared to paint her scars. After three open heart surgeries for a severe congenital heart defect, she’s left ...
Published: 06/22/18
Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

By Katie WorkmanIsraeli or Mediterranean couscous are tiny balls of toasted semolina pasta that plump up when cooked into toothsome, slightly less tiny balls of pasta. They make a great base for a side or salad. You can make the couscous according to...
Published: 06/22/18
‘BE AWARE’: Pasco mom posts to Facebook after son’s caterpillar sting leads to ER trip

‘BE AWARE’: Pasco mom posts to Facebook after son’s caterpillar sting leads to ER trip

ZEPHYRHILLS — The Pergolas’ Saturday morning volunteer work started like most, at a farm cleaning the property and trimming trees. Andrea Pergola, 38, stood on the driveway of the property when she heard her 15-year-old son Logan scream. At first, sh...
Published: 06/20/18
Moffitt receives $1 million donation from Richard Gonzmart

Moffitt receives $1 million donation from Richard Gonzmart

TAMPA — Runners gathered for the Gonzmart’s Father’s Day Walk and Jog where they raise money to help aid in Moffitt Cancer Center’s fight against prostate cancer. This year the event raised $110,000, but Moffitt had another surprise in store.Andrea G...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

GENEVA — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health Organization says they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world: spending too much time playing. In its latest revision to a disease class...
Published: 06/19/18
Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

Funded by Alcohol Industry, Federal Study on Drinking Is Shut Down

The extensive government trial was intended to settle an age-old question about alcohol and diet: Does a daily cocktail or beer really protect against heart attacks and stroke?To find out, the National Institutes of Health gave scientists $100 millio...
Published: 06/16/18
More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults take prescription drugs that may increase risk of depression, study says

More than a third of American adults are taking prescription drugs, including hormones for contraception, blood pressure medications and medicines for heartburn, that carry a potential risk of depression, according to a study published in the Journal...
Published: 06/12/18
It’s time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

It’s time to use the stingray shuffle to avoid a nasty sting

Courtney Bilyeu was running toward the murky water alongside a few military officers when it happened.She was an accountant for the U.S. Navy at the time. And on her way to take a swim with some coworkers in a California beach, she saw blood. The wat...
Published: 06/12/18
It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

It’s important to wear sunglasses even on cloudy days, ophthalmologists say

The next time you head to the drugstore to buy sunscreen, don’t forget to pick up some sunglasses, too. That’s because both products work to protect your body from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.Wearing sunglasses for protection should not be re...
Published: 06/09/18
In St. Pete, kidney patients gather for science and solidarity

In St. Pete, kidney patients gather for science and solidarity

ST. PETERSBURG — Kidney disease doesn’t discriminate.The crowd of more than 200 patients who gathered at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort range in age from teenagers to seniors. They are of different ethnicities and come from all over the...
Published: 06/08/18