Every year, the month of November is recognized as National Hospice & Palliative Care Month to help raise awareness of the efforts of local hospice and palliative health care organizations.
Serving its residents for more than 32 years, Gulfside Healthcare Services continues to be Pasco County’s premier “hospice of choice” and was the first hospice in Pasco to receive the Joint Commission’s Seal of Approval accreditation. The team has also been providing non-hospice palliative care for those facing a chronic illness since 2009.
Understanding Hospice Care
As one of the few nonprofit hospice organizations in the nation and the only nonprofit hospice that serves Pasco County exclusively, Gulfside assures that no patient is turned away from care due to financial reasons or for lack of insurance or health care coverage.
Every day, more than 800 Pasco residents receive hospice care from the team at Gulfside. But hospice care is about more than just the patient – it’s about the whole family.
“Thank you, Gulfside, for the excellent care you provided to our father,” wrote Linda, the daughter of a hospice patient, in a letter. “He was in excellent hands, which was such a relief for all of us. The comfort you provided him and our family has made our loss much more bearable.”
With an interdisciplinary approach to care and an array of services, Gulfside Hospice is able to help patients and families live their lives to the fullest. Every person receiving care from Gulfside has access to the organization’s whole team, which includes hospice-certified physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers. Patients can also continue visiting their current physician, if they wish.
Some of the services provided by Gulfside’s gracious team include:
- Visits from physicians who offer pain management and symptom control;
- Regular visits from registered nurses, plus the ability to contact the nursing team 24/7;
- Around-the-clock crisis nursing care at home, when necessary;
- Coordination of medical supplies, medication and equipment like oxygen tanks, walkers, hospital beds and more;
- Assistance with personal care provided by certified nursing assistants;
- Services from social workers who specialize in helping families cope with issues surrounding life-limiting illnesses;
- Access to additional programs, including the Pet Peace of Mind program, We Salute Veterans program, We Honor First Responders program, Comfort Connections program, grief counseling, caregiver support and more;
- Spiritual care services provided by chaplains; and
- Respite care from trained volunteers and assistance with running errands.
Understanding Palliative Care
Palliative care is comprehensive treatment that focuses on the discomfort, pain, symptoms and stress of living with a chronic illness. Its goal is to prevent and ease suffering, and improve your quality of life. While hospice care is also palliative in nature, non-hospice palliative care is an option for those living with chronic illness but are not ready for hospice. Palliative care gives you a chance to live your life more comfortably.
It provides relief from distressing symptoms including shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, pain, loss of appetite, problems with sleep and many others. Palliative care is available to you at any time during your illness, and you can receive palliative care at the same time you receive other treatments that are meant to cure your illness. Your Gulfside Palliative Care team will even work with you to help coordinate with your other health care providers.
Services provided by the Gulfside Palliative Care team include:
- Assessment by a board-certified palliative physician and an experienced palliative care team
- Quality-of-life improvements through various medical treatments
- Support in decision-making and guidance to patients, physicians, nurses and family caregivers concerning treatment options, care planning and placement issues
- Expertise in pain and symptom management
- Emotional and spiritual support to patients and families
- Consultations with caregivers, medical and nursing staff on how to talk about palliative care with patients and families
- Individualized care and resources for coping with denial, depression, loss and grief
- Identification of program eligibility and coordination of services for home care and equipment, Hospice, Medicaid, Medicare, VA benefits and other community resources
Getting the Care You Need
No matter what stage of care you need, the Gulfside team is here to help. All of the care and services offered by Gulfside Hospice are centered around one primary goal: making every day count for patients and their families.
To learn more about how Gulfside can help you and your family, call (800) 561-4883 to speak with one of the organization’s experts, or visit Gulfside.org for more information.