The aim of Home care services is to enhance the quality of life and keep patients within the community setting through physical, psychological, social and spiritual support.
New referrals are delegated to the nurses in the team and a primary assessment is carried out. During this first visit, the nurse takes a brief medical history and assesses the patient for uncontrolled pain and other symptoms.
The psycho social and spiritual aspect of the patient and their carers are also addressed. An individualised care plan for each patient and family is then formatted depending on the situation of each family. The nurse would then liaise and involve other professionals within the Hospice team including doctors, social workers, psychologist, physiotherapists, day therapy coordinator, complementary therapist and chaplain.
Communication with others outside the Hospice team such as the family doctor, hospital doctors, social workers and physiotherapists is also maintained to ensure continuity of care. The Hospice team then follows up on patients via visits and telephone contact and the care plan is adjusted as the situation evolves. The family is also included in the care plan and supported throughout the illness and during the bereavement process once the patient passes away.
Apart from the visits by the Hospice team other Home Care Services include:
- Loan of specialised equipment – equipment such as special beds, wheelchairs, reclining arm chairs, commodes and syringe drivers for pain control amongst others are loaned to the patient
- Respite care through care assistants – caring for someone at home can cause burnout for the family and to avoid this, respite care is provided either for a few hours every week on a regular basis; for more intense hours during a crisis; and/or and also at the very end stage especially if the family would like to keep the patient at home
- Drives to the Day Therapy Unit and hospital appointments – Patients are provided with drives either by volunteers using their own private cars or by the Hospice van for those who need to use a wheelchair. The drives are provided for the patient to attend the Day Therapy Unit at Hospice or to take the patient to and from Hospital appointments if the relatives are not available. Another Hospice van is also in use for patients who have appointments at the Oncology Hospital