Compassionate Hospice Care

How Hospice Helps Families Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Hospice helps families cope

Covid-19 confronts our worst fears—dying alone and without our loved ones nearby. Now, as news and social media broadcast staggering statistics about the spread of the pandemic, many people are wondering how to cope if they or one of their loved ones become ill. 

No one has to be alone during the pandemic

Whether at home or in a facility, people may feel lonely and isolated due to the contagious nature of the disease. Those in senior living facilities or hospitals are especially vulnerable because of strict lockdown policies that prohibit visitors.

Caregivers and nursing staff may keep their distance or feel so overwhelmed they have less time to spend with patients battling the disease. This can leave them feeling hopeless, or anxious and depressed. Hospice is here to help.

Ameri Hospice has registered nurses, social workers, and religious clergy to care for patients and relieve the pain and suffering associated with the illness. They offer compassion and comfort to patients and help care for their physical and emotional needs. During the pandemic, these services are even more vital as patients become too exhausted to care for themselves, and feel especially afraid and lonely in quarantine. 

Helping in the battle against Covid-19

“Covid-19 symptoms can make people feel too tired to eat or drink, especially elderly patients who are in danger of dehydration or hunger,” says Narcisa Viterbo, Alternate Director of Nursing at Ameriprime Hospice. “We keep them clean, fed and comfortable to help them fight the disease.”

Hospice also takes care of people’s emotional needs by talking with them, playing music, reading aloud, or just holding hand. And if their condition worsens, they stay by their side. Many of their Covid-19 patients survive after receiving round-the-clock hospice care.

During Covid-19, hospice works tirelessly with patients and their families. The staff takes extra precautions by providing free Covid-19 testing and PPE supplies to patients and their families.

Spiritual and emotional support

Hospice performs other crucial functions—helping patients stay connected with their family, friends, and doctors by relaying messages, sharing cards and photos, and making phone calls. They bridge the gap created by the pandemic by assuring patients and their loved ones that they are not alone.   

 Not only do they help patients through this difficult time, but address the needs of family members as well. “Many people feel guilty for not visiting or taking care of their loved ones,” says Reverend Douglas Regan, Chaplain for Ameriprime Hospice. “We help ease their guilt and emotional pain by listening so they can voice their feelings,” he said. “And if they want to hold a mass or a religious ceremony, we can arrange that, too”

No matter what the family’s religious affiliation, Reverend Douglas has a network of clergy from all denominations he can call on to assist the family. In cases where a patient dies, they are available for funeral services. Ameriprime Hospice also has social workers who step in to help with bereavement and grief recovery counseling.

A company founded on compassion

Mansoor Kazi, a registered nurse practitioner, founded Ameriprime Hospice in 2014. Most of his core staff members have been with him since the beginning. The company has helped thousands of patients face their end-of-life journey. Kazi has a reputation for buying meals or medications and delivering them himself to people who can’t afford them, day or night.

Kazi first realized he wanted to become a nurse and caregiver at age 23 when he saw his father endure a painful death from lung cancer. “I wanted to make a difference—because no one has to go through suffering like my father did when pain can be managed, allowing people to transition peacefully.”

Treating people with empathy and respect

The nurses and staff at Ameriprime Hospice embrace Kazi’s philosophy of treating people with grace and compassion, allowing them to die with the dignity they deserve, at home if they prefer. In most cases, hospice care is 100% paid for by Medicare and Medicaid with no co-pay or out-of-pocket expenses. As so many people are suffering from Covid-19, hospice has the resources and experienced licensed staff to provide help and support to families during this challenging time.