December 8th, 2015 | Catholic San Francisco
by Gloria Gutierrez
As a hospice social worker I have had the privilege of being with patients during their final stages of their illness as part of an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, home-health aides and chaplaincy support. Hospice is a Medicare benefit that pays for end-of-life care.
Hospice support allows a patient to remain in their home or residential care facility with the support of the clinical team including 24/7 nursing support by consultation and home visits.
It provides the patient with medical equipment; such as electric bed with air mattress to prevent bed sores, and oxygen to keep their loved one comfortable. Palliative care is offered through symptom management of pain, nausea, anxiety and physical comfort.
I have provided outreach to the Latino community about hospice services and was supported by the faith-based committee that focused on outreaching to the Latino and African-American communities. My outreach began at St. Anthony de Padua Parish in Menlo Park.