While Hospice of Rockingham County is always in need of items like wipes, gowns, T-shirts and personal toiletries to help with in-home Hospice Care, as well as the Hospice Home, there are certain critical-need items at the top of the agency’s current wish list — laundry detergent, laundry sanitizer, stain remover and dryer sheets.
“A lot of people do not realize that Hospice is predominantly reimbursed by Medicare, which pays a per diem (daily allowance) of $150 a day,” said Flavel Collins, Hospice’s community relations and development coordinator.
From that amount of money per day, all expenses must be paid, including medicine, equipment and care.
“When you are talking about the uninsured and underinsured, there is a great need,” Collins said.
Fundraisers are also held each year to help offset the cost of care.
“We have never ever turned away a patient, which speaks to the support we are privileged to have in this community,” Collins said.
The only full-service hospice based in Rockingham County, Hospice of Rockingham County has provided end-of-life care since 1987. A community-based, nonprofit provider of hospice care, Hospice of Rockingham County averages 525 to 575 patients and their families served each year and has helped close to 10,000 patients and families since its founding.
“We were started by the people of Rockingham County for the people of Rockingham County,” Collins said.
While Hospice of Rockingham offers services in patients’ homes, long-term care facilities, assisted-living facilities and the Hospice Home Inpatient Facility, Collins said the bulk of patients served are in a home or homelike setting.
The basic criteria for services include a patient having a limited life expectancy of six months or less and the patient no longer being interested in pursuing aggressive, curative disease treatment.
Hospice of Rockingham County cares for patients with a variety of illnesses. These include end-stage liver, heart and kidney disease; cancer; ALS; Alzheimer’s disease; congestive heart failure; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and cerebrovascular accident.
Each day an average of 60 to 65 patients are cared for in their homes by Hospice nurses who are on call all hours of the day. Opened in November 2007, the Hospice Home offers five beds for inpatient care and three beds for residential care. Patients admitted to this facility have a life-limiting illness, they have a prognosis of two months or less to live and they can no longer be cared for at home.
For patients and their families who are not yet Hospice eligible, a supportive care program is offered.
In addition. Hospice of Rockingham County will provide an information booth at health fairs and outreach events and offers a speakers bureau. Hospice representatives welcome the opportunity to speak at area churches, civic group meetings, and men’s or women’s club gatherings. An online resource page on the agency’s website provides hospice care and end-of-life planning information, as well as suggestions on how to handle grief and support for the grieving.
Collins said Hospice of Rockingham County is extremely thankful to everyone who participates in fundraisers and donates much-needed items to help.
“We always want to be able to serve everyone in the community who needs our services,” she said. “We want to be the preferred provider of choice for referral services.”