"For years at my medical practice, I had patients who needed palliative care in the comfort of home, but who did not qualify. Perhaps they wanted to continue pursuing curative treatments, they were on dialysis, or their prognosis was greater than six months. The services we provided at our office were certainly helpful, but they were not the same as experienced hospice nurses and social workers repeatedly visiting patients and their families in the comfort of their homes. I decided to create a solution, Desert Valley Hospice & Palliative Care."
Since 2019, our Palliative Care program has been separate from our more traditional hospice program. The difference is that we provide the needed services without regard to insurance. Therefore, no insurance/Medicare requirement will prevent patients from receiving Desert Valley Palliative Care services at home. Patients do not need to be homebound as with Medicare’s home health benefit. Unlike hospice requirements, patients may have an uncertain prognosis, be on dialysis, or be pursing curative treatments.
Desert Valley’s Palliative Care program sends nurses and social workers to the homes of patients. They provide help with advance care planning, symptom management, caregiver training, emotional support, and many more of the same services patients receive through hospice. Patients and family have full access to our 24-hour on-call service. In the Palliative Care program, Desert Valley will typically send a nurse to each patient’s home twice per month for two or three months, with optional additional visits from a medical social worker. Our hospice patients receive higher-frequency care. Most Palliative Care patients achieve their care-plan goals in two or three months. Then, if needed, we provide pro-active telephone support monthly before discharge.
Hospice nurses are highly experienced in overcoming the pain and other symptoms often associated with advanced disease. Through medication management and other strategies, hospice nurses can help patients better control symptoms.
Assistance with informed decision making about the healthcare you would want to receive under different medical circumstances, what to expect in a disease process, and planning for other services. This includes assistance with the documents and procedures that ensure your wishes are honored.
Without proper training, caring for a loved one with a major medical condition can be a daunting, stressful task. Family and caregiver training from the hospice staff greatly reduces caregiver stress, better enabling them to deliver care effectively and confidently.
Your palliative care nurse and social worker will be ready to help in regards to the emotional experience of terminal disease.
This foundation helps people in Metropolitan Phoenix who have chronic medical conditions. If you would like to help, please visit missionofcare.org.