Senior Home Companions recently hosted a training panel for companion caregivers about the many benefits of partnering with hospice care for our clients and their families. The panel brought together participants from multiple local providers in Indiana, and the filmed recording was sent internally to our staff members. Are you considering working with both hospice and a companion caregiver for the needs of your aging loved one? Read on to learn more about the ways that these services can partner together for your family’s benefit.
Making the decision to bring in hospice or palliative care for your aging loved one can be difficult, but it can offer major support to your family when that person is in the end of life stages or struggling with any kind of life-limiting illness. Several of the local experts on our panel had personal experience with hospice care and a loved one’s passing, which helped make their decision to work in this field and participate in our training.
Jessica Malson, BSW, Hospice Care Coordinator with Brookdale Hospice, shared her story: “I have first-hand experience with not only hospice but Brookdale Hospice specifically after losing my father unexpectedly in October of 2020. My mother was blessed by our team in early December of 2020, before she went to be with her husband again. This experience reinforced why hospice is so important to me and my passion to help other people in need get that same great experience.”
Several of the panelists also chose to participate in order to help remove some of the “taboo” feeling around conversations about hospice care. “I chose to join this panel discussion to make sure that those who are getting the training understand the myths, so that we can dispel and debunk them to better understand hospice and palliative care,” said Dustin Withers, Spiritual Care Coordinator with Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice.
Our hope is that this training can help both caregivers and families open up more and discuss working with palliative care. “I find that it’s important to offer this type of training to caregivers because it’s such a taboo subject,” said Tawni Risse, Clinical Liaison and Patient Care Navigator with Paradigm Health. “No one is ever really willing to have that conversation. I think it’s important for caregivers especially to be able to equip their clients and families with the same knowledge to be their own healthcare advocates.”
Advocating and educating about the care available to families is a huge goal of Senior Home Companions, as well as our training panelists. “Having the resources for caregivers to show families, ‘This isn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be, this is actually a huge benefit to me,’ will help them feel empowered to make the best decisions for their loved one,” said Malson.
As we spoke about in our most recent training panel in May 2021, communicating well among clients, families and caregivers can make a huge difference in quality of life. “Our last training was about communication and this one was more specifically regarding hospice care,” said Ashley Armstrong, RN, MSN, Registered Nurse Liaison with Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice (who also participated in May’s panel). “So I just thought it was really important to share my input, the company’s input, and get that education out there.”
Better communication allows our caregivers to fully understand both their role and the hospice staff’s role with clients, providing more comfort to families and their aging loved ones in what is often a very stressful time.
“I’ve learned that there’s a big disconnect and I think with this discussion it helps relieve a lot of caregivers to know what their role is,” said Paige Gilbert, Client Manager with Senior Home Companions, who helped organize the panel. “I think if we clarify that, then more caregivers will be comfortable helping these clients and knowing what to expect in the home, and it’s better for the client and their family.”
If you have more questions about working with the caregivers at Senior Home Companions and bringing in palliative or end-of-life care for your loved one, contact us today to learn more.
Pictured in Photo Header L-R: Tawni Risse, Clinical Liaison and Patient Care Navigator with Paradigm Health, Jessica Malson, BSW, Hospice Care Coordinator with Brookdale Hospice, Dustin Withers, Spiritual Care Coordinator with Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice, and Ashley Armstrong, RN, MSN, Registered Nurse Liaison with Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice