Hospice care offers better quality of life

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By Gina Velasquez


Caring for a loved one with declining health is never easy and it takes its toll on all involved. Gentiva Hospice has teamed up with Kingston Residence of Santa Fe to aid in those who need hospice care. 

Hospice is for someone who can no longer take care of themselves because of disease where there is no hope left for recovery and all treatments has been exhausted. It is an insurance covered benefit. 

Gentiva is a mobile unit with a full staff that will come to people in need. It has four levels of care. It is a complementary service that can help care givers cope. 

• Routine health care

• In-patient hospital care

• Respite care — Unique to Gentiva that handles those living at nursing homes. This is an unlimited service throughout the year. 

• Continual in-home care. Provides a registered hospice nurse to come to the home to give primary care givers a break. “If the primary caregiver has to go out of town, a registered hospice nurse will stay with the ill person for as long as needed,” clinical liaison and registered nurse, Amanda Yarrington said. The nurse will stay with the person until the acute issue is stabilized. 

“Since we are a mobile service, we will come to you,” Yarrington said. “We want to let the community know that this service is out there.” Yarrington and staff from Kingston came to Los Alamos and spoke of the services last week at the Mesa Public Library. 

Evaluations for the service are free and a registered nurse and medical doctor has to sign for approval. “Hospice can start at any time and it is better to begin the service before all hope is gone,” Yarrington said. “It can provide a better quality of life for the patient before death.” 

Medical equipment and medication is covered by hospice benefit insurance based on the particular illness. The staff is equipped with two doctors that will go visit the patients in Northern New Mexico where ever they are. “M.D.’s are available by phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They can travel to the patient within an hours time when called upon,” Yarrington said. Call 988-5331 for the available doctors in the area. 

Since Gentiva is mobile, they have been known to treat homeless people in need. 

“We want to return dignity and respect to the end of life,” Yarrington said. Hospice is considered “comfort care.” Gentiva and Kingston Residence both provide occupational, physical and speech therapy to maintain levels of comfort in patients.

“It is wise to take advantage of the services to ease the burden when the quality of life is threatened or diminishing,” Jeanne Niklis, RN said. She is the Business Development Manager at Kingston Residence. 

For detailed information on the levels of care and learn how to begin evaluations visit gentiva.com/hospice.