Because advanced illness affects much more than physical health, a hospice care team is made up of people with different kinds of training and skills. Which team members visit you and how often will depend upon the patient’s unique situation, wants and needs. It's important to remember that-- above all—the patient and his or her loved ones are in charge of all care decisions.
Members of the care team include:
Doctors. The patient’s family physician works closely with the hospice care team, which includes hospice’s medical director.
Nurses. Hospice nurses provide skilled care to relieve symptoms and improve comfort, and are an excellent source of information for patients and families. A hospice nurse is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Home Health Aides. A professional, certified aide can help with things like bathing, dressing and other everyday tasks.
Volunteers. Hospice of Frederick County volunteers are compassionate listeners and willing helpers who provide companionship, emotional support and practical assistance.
Social Workers. These professional counselors provide guidance in making decisions, talking about difficult topics, and helping patients and families deal with the emotional challenges of advanced illness.
Spiritual Care. The hospice chaplain can support patients and families directly within their personal belief systems, or work with their own pastor, priest or clergyman to provide spiritual support.
Bereavement Coordinators. A variety of support groups are offered; workshops on various topics related to the grieving process; confidentiality; one on one telephone support; mailings that include cards of support and comfort and educational materials.