Hospice and Palliative Care Services
Within the Hebrew Home, the Forchheimer Jewish Palliative
Care Center offers residents the best possible
quality of life through relief of suffering, and control of pain and symptoms at
the end of life, and offers their families the opportunity to be with them throughout
this highly personal and culturally sensitive experience. The Center offers a comprehensive
series of hospice and palliative care services that include the following three
components-Comfort Care, Hospice, and Pain Management.
The Comfort Care program is available when no further effort is feasible to reverse the course of a terminal medical condition. When one is no longer able to decide on his/her own, a family member or representative can share in the decision to give comfort and quality of life the highest priority.
This program tailors services to the person's wishes and lifestyle in cooperation with the family, physician, nurse, social worker and rabbi. In the absence of any such expressions, the team chooses activities it believes the resident may have sought on his/her own. For example, a man who had been active in his synagogue, may be enabled to attend services. Someone who liked to work in the garden, may wish to have flowers in his or her room, while others may choose to hear soft music. The celebration of a Passover seder or a Purim seudah surrounded by family members may be planned at the bedside in an effort to include the person who is ill.
The Hebrew Home staff provides anticipatory grief counseling to assuage feelings of powerlessness, fear, and guilt. On occasion, family members may wish to remain near the resident. The Home can provide overnight accommodations at our hospice care facilities and meals for a relative wishing to be close at this difficult time. In addition, the Home's rabbinic staff are available to provide pastoral counseling, spiritual guidance, and opportunities for prayer for the entire family.
The Hospice program at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale includes all that Comfort Care provides but offers additional nurse and social work visits and more extensive bereavement services for families, if these are desired.
Hospice recognizes the multidimensional nature of suffering, responds with care to the patient and family member, and communicates in a language that conveys mutuality, respect and interdependence. More than any other health care program, it is unique in that the resident and family control the environment and lifestyle, including treatment modalities.
In the final stage of life, pain may be so severe and chronic that it significantly interferes with the quality of life of the terminally ill person. The Pain Management program is part of the Comfort Care and Hospice services. It enables physicians to prescribe analgesic medications not as commonly provided or not generally administered on an ongoing basis basis as part of palliative care services.
A variety of other techniques are used to manage pain: massage therapy; comfort devices to ease positioning changes; body supports; rehabilitation; music; art and drama. Families may also benefit from the services of the nurses, social workers and psychologists. In addition, a consulting physician specializing in pain management is available to see residents with pain who are not responding to traditional modalities.