Many people die from a prolonged illness that eventually becomes incurable. In such cases, hospice care often emerges as the most suitable option for providing comfort and managing symptoms.
Patients and their families require and deserve compassionate, competent care, as well as a reduction in stress and anxiety. For the past 26 years, Lutheran Hospice has been delivering end-of-life care in the Lowcountry that is considered to be some of the best in the nation.
The quality of care provided by Lutheran Hospice is highly regarded, as evidenced by patient outcome scores reported by surviving family members. Medicare provides these scores as a way for families to evaluate various aspects of hospice care from different providers.
Medicare assesses hospice services in several areas, including communication with family members, promptness in providing assistance, respectful treatment of patients, emotional and spiritual support, pain and symptom management and training family members to care for patients. Lutheran Hospice not only surpasses the average performance in South Carolina – it exceeds the national average in these areas. Recent surveys indicate that 90% of families who have received care from Lutheran Hospice would recommend its services to others. In comparison, the average recommendation rate in South Carolina stands at 85%, while the national average is 84%
According to Community Outreach Director Richard McCuen, the reason for Lutheran Hospice’s high rating is its experienced staff.
“They are the infantry of hospice,” he said. “They are in tune with the patients and know how to relay information to the families.”
The hospice nurses possess extensive experience in symptom management and palliative care. Additionally, the hospice aides, social workers, the chaplain and medical director all have many years of experience working with patients and their families at end of life. Veterans are recognized for their service, and specially trained volunteers round out the comprehensive service provided to patients.
Lutheran Hospice is dedicated to ensuring that patients’ final days are comfortable, and their remaining life is of the highest quality. The staff collaborates with patients and their families to develop a personalized care plan that incorporates the patient’s and caregiver’s preferences, needs and objectives.
“We are all about taking care of people,” said McCuen. “Our staff are angels on Earth.”
Upon admission to Lutheran Hospice, families are informed that they are in charge of decision-making and goal-setting, as outlined in the care plan.
Lutheran Hospice is the only faith-based, nonprofit hospice in Charleston, catering to patients of all religious backgrounds. McCuen assures patients that they can find solace in the fact that Lutheran Hospice’s services are unwavering and will not be subject to commercialization.
Lutheran Hospice also is the longest-standing hospice in this region. It operates as an extension of Lutheran Homes of South Carolina, which recognized the pressing need for compassionate hospice care in the state in 1995.
Lutheran Hospice’s services are available in three distinct regions: the Upstate, the Midlands and the Lowcountry. For more information, visit lutheranhospice.org.
By James Rada Jr.