Houston Hospice Virtual Tour

Join Houston Hospice on a virtual tour of our in-patient facility. As a member of the prestigious Texas Medical Center, we are located at 1905 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, Texas 77030. In addition, we work with hospitals, doctors, and nursing homes across 10 counties, to better serve you. Best of all, with Houston Hospice, you will be able to be with your loved one when they truly need you the most. To find out more, visit our website at www.houstonhospice.org or give us a call 24/7 at 713-468-2441.

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Houston Hospice Names 2020 Volunteer of the Year

Building a culture of caring is exemplified in the life of our 2020 Volunteer of the Year, Rob Henderson, as we share his inspiration, what draws him to hospice care, and how he became Volunteer of the Year.

 

Rob Henderson has been named Houston Hospice 2020 Volunteer of the Year

Rob Henderson – Volunteer of the Year

“Rob Henderson is a committed volunteer who goes the extra mile for Houston Hospice,” said Volunteer Manager Patty Valle.

As a retired engineer, Rob has found his calling to serve others. At Houston Hospice, he volunteers his friendly smile at the main office front desk on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition, he participates in our volunteer team meetings, and has served on the Employee Committee as volunteer representative.

Over the past two years, he has found many more ways to connect with others at Houston Hospice. “Rob is also one of our Home Care Volunteers and is always willing to visit or call a patient if needed,” Patty continued. “Also, he is quick to offer donations and his time to help families in need.” When he is not visiting with patients, attending meetings and answering phones, Rob finds time to assist with data entry, and recently began repairing the 100+ shutters in our inpatient unit.

“We sincerely thank Rob for the many gifts he has shared with our staff, patients, and families. He goes where Houston Hospice has a need, and is always ready for his next assignment. Rob exemplifies the true spirit of hospice volunteering,  and has made a positive impact on all of us. For this we are truly grateful,” said Patty.

Living My Best Life, an interview about family and giving back
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Safety and compassion through COVID-19

Houston Hospice works with families to ensure patients’ safety, comfort during COVID-19

 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston Hospice has taken extra precautions to guard patients, families, loved ones, and staff members from the spread of the disease caused by the Coronavirus. Their safety remains our top priority as we continue to advocate for uncompromising, compassionate end-of-life care. Increasing safety and compassion through COVID-19 is our goal.

Cynthia Nordt, VP Development, Houston Hospice

Cynthia Nordt

Safety is Paramount
Earlier this year, as confirmed cases started to rise in the Greater Houston Area, the Houston Hospice leadership team, with the support of board members, made difficult, but necessary decisions to safeguard vulnerable patients from the spread of the virus. To maintain safe and secure on-site operations, visitors are allowed at a maximum of two per patient. In addition, every person entering the building is required to have their temperatures checked, daily, and wearing safety masks is a must. To maintain 6-feet of social distancing guidelines, communal areas are temporarily closed.

Offsite, nurses and support staff are taking extra precautions to keep patients safe. For those patients who still wish to receive home care, our staff maintain sanitized proper PPE, sort medical supplies to avoid cross contamination, wash hands before and after visits and use hand sanitizer often, throughout the day. Volunteer opportunities have been paused until it is safe for all involved.

Zoom Meetings and Remote Staff 
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Nurses Week 2020

Houston Hospice ‘s  Our Nurses

 

National Nurses Week starts with National Nurses Day on May 6, 2020 and concludes on May 12, 2020 with International Nurses Day, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is credited with founding modern nursing. The week-long celebration has been established as a recognized, annual event for appreciating health care workers, but you already knew this long-established, nursing-history fact. I bet you didn’t know that nurses make up over 50% of the global healthcare workforce, and on January 31, 2019, the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed a call for 2020 to be officially recognized as the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’. Finally, a whole year dedicated to nurses, and it’s about time. Wouldn’t you say?

Presenting! WHO International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

 

Today’s modern nurses are Frontline Heroes, from all walks of life, and with more strength and courage than you can shake a stethoscope at.  “Houston Hospice places tremendous value in our nursing team,” says Jim Faucett, President and CEO, Houston Hospice. “Our highly skilled RN’s, LVN’s, and Nurse’s Aides epitomize hospice care excellence and are the cornerstone of Houston Hospice. Without them, we would not be able to provide the team-oriented, medical care that our patients deserve. For their faithful compassion and commitment to the needs of our patients and their families, I want to extend my deep appreciation and a Thank You to our entire Nursing Team,” continued Jim.

People of TMC

The Texas Medical Center interviewed our very own, Gabrielle Staten, RN, BSN, associate patient care manager, IPU. “We’ve been able to allow family members to visit their dying loved one when hospitals couldn’t,” stated Gabrielle. Click here to read the entire piece, highlighted on the TMC website.

Employee Committee Lights the Way


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Hospice care focuses on quality and comfort of life

Published in Church Health by Dr. Susan Nelson
Hospice is a word that some people are afraid of.

For some, it conjures the image of a patient who has “given up” on medical treatment. Others may worry that they won’t get the medical care they need once in hospice.

However, hospice care doesn’t mean all medical treatment stops. It just means you and your family have decided to focus on what makes your life more comfortable, rather than continue to seek treatment for a disease that has no cure. Hospice care is 100% covered by Medicare, and 15% of hospice patients survive more than 6 months and actually get better for a time.

Over the years, I’ve had many patients in hospice care, and almost every one of them – and their families – told me they wished they had started it sooner. Hospice helps patients and families prepare for death in a dignified way that focuses on the quality and comfort of life that remains.

Rather than being a “last resort”, I think hospice offers patients and families the chance to be at home, together during this important time in life’s journey.

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Helping Veterans age well after military service

Published in Military Times by Sherman Gillums Jr. and Andrew Greene

When you think of hearing aids, canes, knee pain, memory issues, and heart problems, you might envision a grandparent or elderly person. But these indicators of aging may also describe a military veteran in their late 30s or early 40s who served on numerous deployments, worked on a flight line, or parachuted from aircraft for a living.

While new military inductees are typically some of the healthiest people in our society, many find themselves anything but healthy by the time they end their careers. In fact, many find themselves coping with an accelerated aging process that combines natural aging with the service-related wear and tear on their bodies and minds.

There has always been a national interest in ensuring that veterans receive retirement benefits for serving their country. What hasn’t been emphasized are the specific challenges veterans face as they age. A 2019 study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that Persian Gulf War veterans suffered chronic conditions — such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, stroke, and arthritis — about 10 years sooner than non-veterans the same age. This results in lower quality of life, higher mortality rates, and shorter life expectancies, especially for women veterans.

Compared to the overall population, veterans are more likely to be male, older, retired, widowed, educated, and living in the South, according to a report prepared by the LTSS Center in Boston. They also are more likely to report fair or poor health, limitations with activities of daily living, obesity, depression, and chronic conditions. This is despite the fact that there are not stark differences in financial wealth, and veterans pay less out-of-pocket for health care than civilians.

This raises the question: What is the best way to serve aging veterans who report a higher number of health and daily living issues during a greater portion of their lives than civilians?
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Asset Expert Explains What Long-Term Insurance Covers

Published in SmartAsset by Ashley Chorpenning

While Medicare and Medicaid both help aging adults afford some of their medical expenses, they may not cover the cost of an extended illness or disability. That’s where long-term care insurance comes into play. Long-term care insurance helps policyholders pay for their long-term care needs such as nursing home care. We’ll explain what long-term care insurance covers and whether or not such coverage is something you or your loved ones should consider.

Long-Term Care Insurance Explained

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Ask an Attorney: Understanding Medicare’s hospice benefit in cases of terminal illness

Published in The Middletown Press By Robert Scalise
Caring for a loved one during the final stages of life is difficult both physically and emotionally. Thankfully, Medicare can help ease the burden.

Medicare’s hospice benefit covers any care that is reasonable and necessary for easing the course of a terminal illness. It is one of Medicare’s most comprehensive benefits, and can be extremely helpful to both a terminally ill individual and his or her family, but it is little understood and underutilized. Understanding what is offered ahead of time may help Medicare beneficiaries and their families make the difficult decision to choose hospice if the time comes.

The focus of hospice is palliative care, which helps people who are terminally ill and their families maintain their quality of life. Palliative care addresses physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs while supporting the terminally ill individual’s independence, access to information, and ability to make choices about health care.

To qualify for Medicare’s hospice benefit, a beneficiary must be entitled to Medicare Part A, and a doctor must certify that the beneficiary has a life expectancy of six months or less. If the beneficiary lives longer than six months, the doctor can continue to certify the patient for hospice care indefinitely.


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VA launches mobile app to streamline veterans’ access to health records, resources

Published in Becker’s Healthcare by Jackie Drees
Department of Veterans Affairs released a new mobile application that aims to simplify veterans’ and caregivers’ access to healthcare information by storing it on a single platform.
Four things to know:
1. The new app, called Launchpad, organizes more than 20 VA health apps into five categories: health management, healthcare team communication, vital health information sharing, mental health improvement and quality of life improvement.
2. Users will be able to view and share their VA EHR data, schedule VA appointments and refill prescriptions, among other functions, on the app.
3. The app also includes free mental healthcare tools for individuals who are not enrolled in VA healthcare services.
4. Launchpad is available for download on Apple and Google devices.

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Are You One of the 40 Million Americans Who Are Taking Care of a Loved One? Here’s What You Need to Know

It isn’t easy, but it’s important
Published in thriveglobal.com by BJ Miller, MD and Shoshana Berger

All over this country there are people like you who are driving out of their way to pick up a prescription after work, using coffee breaks to visit someone and make him lunch, missing out on dates with friends in order to make sure someone is safe before they go to bed, or taking trips to the hospital.

We see you (we are you), and you are not alone. In the United States at any one time, 40 million adults are caregivers. You are more likely to be a woman — especially if you’re doing the difficult work of bathing and toileting — though the percentage of male caregivers is on the rise: in 2009, 34 percent of caregivers were men; as of 2017 that number was 40 percent. On average you provide more than twenty hours per week of care for four years. It’s a hard job, but when they look back on the experience most people say they wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Courtesy of Africa Studio / Shutterstock

But, as the airline industry reminds us: in order to help others, we need to put on our own oxygen masks first. We’ll go even further — since someone in a predicament is relying upon you: it’s selfish to not take care of yourself. Self-care is a muscle you need to learn to flex so it becomes part of your routine, instead of a rare treat. It means paying attention to yourself, even when the only thing you want to pay attention to is your beloved.

Here are some ways to care for yourself.

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