With 9,000 COVID deaths, many of us have lost loved ones recently. Suzanne talks with Cassidy Bastien, an end-of-life doula, about a difficult topic to talk about, the end of life. There comes a time when you’re caregiving a loved one when the time is near, we have an option for hospice care. Hospice is the umbrella of care that surrounds end of life. Eligibility comes down to a significant decline, not eating or walking, or a significant weight loss, with a diagnosis of six months or less to live, and a doctor’s referral. If you feel that they qualify, you can ask for an evaluation. It focuses on quality of comfort at end of life. Visit her Caregivers Hub Support Group at Facebook.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Worried about the cost of senior living. Care Partner Senior Livings pricing helps preserve your wealth. If you do exhaust your resources, we accept Medicaid and you won’t have to move. Care Partner senior living has fifteen vibrant communities in western Washington and spokane offering high quality, yet affordable independent, assisted living and memory care options. Stretch your assets, preserve your estate and never worry about moving. That’s peace of mind and a care partners living different visit care partners livingcom. The following podcast is provided by an approved senior care provider on the answers for elders radio network. Welcome back everyone. It’s answer for elders radio and here we are here talking about a very difficult subject for many and it’s a welcome topic for me and I’m thrilled to have the wonderful cassidy bestion with us, who is an end of life du Lah. And we are talking about the end of life. We always talk about best quality of life as seniors are aging and certainly but there comes a time when your caregiving a loved one or when you are in a point where you realize the end is near and it may be the near end, might be a year from now, but we still have an option to go into what’s brand of care, which is called hospice, and we may have heard the the term and I remember. You know, we are here again with cassidy, bastion and cassidy. Thank you, first of all for outlining a little bit about palliative care. And but then there we move into a different category of care and that’s called hospice. Tell us a little bit about what hospice is. So hospice is, it is, to me, the umbrella of care that surrounds end of life. Right. So hospice care is not in lieu of care, it’s on top of care. So, and that’s a common misconception. That very good that when they call hospice, we are going to be there in home seven to do all of that hard bed bound actively transitioning care. And and what we’re seeing a lot of is that maybe our medical community isn’t as educated as well on the hospice benefit. And and so eligibility for hospice really comes down to a significant decline. We’re not walking or not eating, or maybe it’s just like we’ve had a twenty pound weight loss right any type of decline. We get a lot of people who come on hospice and they just don’t have the the care that they need and speak at everything in place. They graduate run no longer on our service. But a lot of what we see to is that we have people waiting until people are actively transitioning, and that’s what we call it in the hospice. People are actively dying, which could be weeks. Today’s two hours and really that’s not enough time for the hospice benefit to really surround and support those patients in their families. Right. Oh, really, hospice says, the Medicare mandates say that requirements for eligibility is a diagnosis of six months or less to live, and there has, you know, you have to have a doctor’s referral for that. But if you really feel like you know your person is eligible, you are more than willing to call any hospice program in your area ask for an evaluation and if you if you meet those requirements, you’re going to be, you know, going to qualifying, going to qualify for hospice services. So hospice really is focusing on quality and comfort at end of life. Sure we’re no longer doing life saving treatments. We are only doing medical interventions, including antibiotics, that are for comfort only. It’s not to you know, sustain life by an so that’s kind of, in a nutshell, what hospice is and it comes with, you know, doctors and nurses and sort of fight nurses, AIDS and chaplains and volunteers and bereavement coordinators. So when I say that we don’t always have time to really surround people with that bubble of hospice love that I call it, we really don’t. But there’s so much that’s available to you on the hospice benefit if you’re there early, if get there early, and obviously hospice is paid for by Medicare. He it is, and so you get more more benefits through Medicare. Right, if you’re in a hospice classification, would you explain a little bit about that? Right? So, so what’s available to you via Medicare and covered by Medicare is any treatments and or medications that are aligned with the diagnosis that you’ve been given. To beyond hospice, okay, okay, direct medical equipment like hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, bedside modes, over the bedside tables, care supplies, brief screams, lotions, soaps, you know, pads, all of all of those things, all those things that you’ve probators. Yeah, also every yeah, so so cassidy. In many cases, if somebody’s in hospice, they can actually go home to pass way. Absolutely, but the main thing is is that we want people to make sure that when they go home to pass they have a caregiver or care in place right, right, and we are, at least myself and I know that most hospice clinicians are very respectful of a person’s time and end of life and what they want for their end of life. And sometimes that, sometimes that is refusing to have a caregiver and refused to be babe and all of those things. So people can absolutely go home, which is why it’s important that you talk to your family and you make sure if you’re going to go home or to anybody else’s home. I’ve had people open up their homes to have people, their loved ones, come to their home. Yeah, you know that you have somebody who’s going to be there to care for you. Past aspice is not always going to be there seven in home. We’re all the always available by the phone. But we’re not always going to be at the bedside twenty four hours at Jaire sure, so we got to make sure that that care is in place before we get home right, right. And then, obviously, you know in in working with hospice, there’s the hospice team also helps the family absolutely. I mean tell me a little bit about that, about the hospice role with family members. Okay, so when somebody comes on hospice services they are given a team nurse and a social worker and then, if the patient wants, they can add on the home health aid or sort of fine nurses. They can add on a chaplain if they’d like to, and I really want to call chaplain spiritual care advisors because they are completely non denominational and they really just hold the space for death and dying. So the hospice team all together, we are observing and maintaining quality of life and comfort. So your curse is maintaining your medications, your nurse’s aid is making sure you’re bathed then roomed once or twice a week, checking in, making sure that you’re cared for in the way that best serves you, and your chaplain is supporting you. Your social worker is to reach out if you need care needs, maybe you have the a benefits, you’ve never qualified. For sure your social worker can do that for you. In hospice, all of those people and all of us as a team are really there to hold up that patient and their family through their two one and I think with the family, one of the things that I think I’ve been a soup impressed with hospice is they help prepare the family for the end and I think the the one thing that I have heard so many times how amazing hospices because it helps the family understand how to interact, have to be there, how to support and just keep the family focused on what’s a most important abbess and I think that really is a key point because I think when when a loved one is passing, emotions are high and you know, dynamics in a family always sometimes there’s conflicts, sometimes there’s hurt feeling, sometimes there’s, you know, arguments, you know it goes right into you know, so many things that go on, you know within fint family dynamics and and the beauty of a hospice is is they make, I think, the whole end wonderful. It’s like they remind a family of what’s most important and how to move the family forward together. And I’ve heard so many stories of, you know, being together in a hospital bed and playing, you know, the favorite music as someone or all, you know, holding hands around. You know, family members who haven’t talked to each other’s and yeah, decades, you know, and here they are together because they had the proper team in place to write facilitate something that became amazing and healing. And I think a lot of cases that doesn’t happen in families. It’s true. And you know, sometimes I always like to say if we do it right, and and and it’s hard because as hot at hospice, were only given one shot. Yeah, get it right. Right, we are one shot and you learn as you go with each case and each family and each person. You you watch each person’s end of life journey and every family’s different. So he is and everybody. I like to say that everybody’s end of life journey is unique to them, as their soul is, and it will be as it should be for each person. But the hospice team absolutely, if we do it right, we set a sacred space for death and dying. We allow families to what you were talking about is what we call holding vigil, is sitting down at the bedside of your loved ones and filling it with that love and that light in those pictures and those conversations and the music and laughter and all of those things. And you’re right, not everybody gets that. No, but they don’t. Can Do that for people. Yeah, yeah, and I think that’s the key with all with the hospice is part of it is really promoting emotional healing while allowing that person to let go, and that, I think is such an important in peace of all of this and and certainly in working with your team, you also can, like, support families to find resources that they may not know about, give them options that they know didn’t know that existed. So there’s a lot of support within the for the family with with hospice care while they’re getting this elevated period of care, and I think that’s what’s so important. And now we have a lot of wonderful hospice resources here and you can point people into that direction. Tell us how we reach you again, Cassidy. Absolutely, you can find me at my end of life northwest on facebook. You can find my website. Is My end of Life Northwestcom. It has all of my contact information. You can reach out to me via facebook. has my email on there, so you can absolutely reach out to me to find out or if you have any hospice or pillied of care questions or end of life questions, definitely give me, give me a jingle. Well, we’re excited that you you’re sharing this with us because certainly it’s a hard, hard thing. To talk about it and in in our next segment we’re going to talk about how to talk to your loved one who is dying, how to, quote unquote, coach them to the other side, how to be the best support possible, and cassidy will be right backs. We at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you could discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guys. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find us at answers for elders. Docom. In your senior years, activities and social opportunities may become limited and while we’d like to live our golden years independently, the reality is our homes can become hazardous and isolated. Hi, I’m coal at with care partner senior living. Care Partners provides the setting for new relationships and plan social events, from outings to events on site. Our staff directs multiple group or individual activities every day in surroundings that are safe and secure. Care Partner senior living has fifteen vibrant communities throughout western Washington and Spokane, providing independent assisted living and memory care at extremely affordable pricing. And if you ever run out of funds and need to convert to Medicaid, you will never be asked to move. From how we design our communities to our attentive care staff, care partners gives you the support, security and safety you need to live independently on your terms, have fun, stay active and never worry about moving. That’s the care partners experience. Visit Care Partners Livingcom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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