At Guardian Angel Hospice we make it a point to hire individuals who not only meet high professional standards, but who are also gentle and compassionate. They all have special training for working with the seriously ill and understand that our care extends beyond the client to his or her family members as well.
Caring for the seriously ill involves more than just the physical aspect. We recognize that this is a time of deep emotional and spiritual significance for everyone involved. Therefore, we work as a team, with a medical staff, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers. Everyone contributes their expertise so we can deliver a plan of care that is responsive to the needs of each individual and his or her family.
Hospice patients remain under the care of their primary physician and any specialists they have been seeing.
In addition, they have the benefit of our medical director, Dr. Carleigh Wilson D.O., who has special training in treatments designed to keep patients comfortable and pain free. Dr. Carleigh Wilson D.O. works closely with our nurses.
For instance, if on a home visit a nurse feels that a change in medication is advisable, he or she can call the doctor and get a prescription that day.
Every patient receives periodic home visits from a nurse. Our nurses develop close relationships with patients and families. They learn about your concerns and are quick to respond to questions and symptoms. We even have a nurse on call by telephone 24 hours a day.
There’s nothing like a bath or shower to boost one’s sense of wellbeing! Our nurses’ aides come to the home and even if your loved one is unable to leave the bed, they will give him or her a sponge bath, shampoo, shave, help with makeup, put on fresh clothes, change the sheets, etc. Their cheerful presence often provides relief for family caregivers as well as for the patient.
Part of our team approach includes the services of a licensed social worker. Social workers are especially knowledgeable about insurance, financial aid programs, and other community services that can prove invaluable when caring for a seriously ill family member. In addition, they have training to help you, your loved one, or other family members cope with difficult emotional issues that often come up in the context of serious illness.
Many people experience a crisis of faith during the course of a serious illness. Even family members find themselves facing tough ethical and spiritual questions. Our chaplain is especially skilled at helping people look within and find their own answers. Chaplains do not push any one religion. They simply have experience helping people find their own sense of meaning and purpose in a situation that may bring up strong feelings and challenge deeply held beliefs.
If you call during the day you will talk to our knowledgeable Call Center staff, who will route you to the specialist in the office best able to address your question or problem. You may talk with one of our referral specialist who has special training in assessing the needs of families and matching them to the capabilities of our interdisciplinary team. If you call after hours, you may be connected to one of our on-call nurses who are available to answer your questions and make suggestions to help you immediately address the issue at hand.
Our hospice is blessed with kind and caring members of the community who have participated in our volunteer training program. Frequently they have cared for a seriously ill friend or relative, so they know what you are going through. They can offer a sympathetic ear, lend a hand with daily tasks, and provide an opportunity for the person you care for to visit with someone new. Many of our volunteers are trained in the art of life reminiscence. Patients often find it helpful to reflect upon their past and acknowledge achievements and perhaps even regrets. Talking with a virtual stranger, someone who has no history with the patient’s family and no judgments, can be a very meaningful experience. Even if the patient spends all of his or her time sleeping, a volunteer affords family caregivers a few hours to get out of the house and take a much needed break.