SouthernCare, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest hospice providers. SouthernCare was founded in 1995 and is based in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, SouthernCare, a privately owned company, has over 75 offices in 15 states and provides care to over 3000 patients each day. SouthernCare offices are located in non-metropolitan areas which have a demonstrated need for hospice services. SouthernCare provides hospice services to patients who reside in private homes, group homes, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities.
Each SouthernCare office is managed by a Clinical Director and a Community Relations Director. Each of these individuals lives and works in the area served by their office. In addition, each SouthernCare office employs a dedicated Care Team composed of Registered Nurse Case Managers, Social Workers, Hospice Aides and Chaplains. Volunteers also provide valuable support to our staff and our patients in the office as well as in the patient’s home. SouthernCare currently has over 1400 full and part time employees.
The mission of SouthernCare is to assure that residents of its service locales have access to a program of care that enhances the quality of life for the terminally ill and their families. Care of the whole person is emphasized by providing physical, spiritual and emotional support to all medically appropriate persons, without discrimination. Efforts are centered on meeting needs by offering highly individualized compassionate care in the person’s home or a home like setting. SouthernCare recognizes the value of dedicated staff and volunteers and affirms each as individuals, as well as members of the care team. SouthernCare is dedicated to enhancing the care of all in the community by education, and by example, serve as a symbolic reminder that life is to be lived until you die.
At SouthernCare we have the opportunity and thus the obligation to listen, interpret, and then provide the best way to improve the quality of life of our customers by exceeding their expectations and fulfilling their wishes one person at a time.
What is Hospice?
Hospice is a special way of caring for patients’ who no longer benefit from curative treatment and have a limited life expectancy. Hospice care is designed to provide comfort and support for the patient and their family. Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Emphasis is on helping the person make the most of each hour and each day of their remaining life by providing comfort and relief from pain and other symptoms.
People who choose hospice are not “giving up.” Hospice neither hastens death, nor prolongs life. Hospice provides personalized services and a supportive care team so that patients and families can prepare for a death in a way that is satisfactory to them. The goal of the hospice team is to be sensitive and responsive to the special requirements of each individual and family
Hospice is primarily a concept of care, not a specific place of care. More than 80 percent of hospice care in the United States occurs in the home. Care is also available to patients who reside in group homes, Assisted Living facilities and Skilled Nursing facilities. Some hospices offer in-patient facilities.
What is a Home Care Team?
A care team is a group of individuals with a variety of medical and non-medical backgrounds who have been specifically trained in end of life care.
This group of skilled & compassionate individuals work with the patient, family and attending physician to determine and provide the care that is most suited and beneficial to the patient’s needs.
Each of these individuals will provide care according to the individual specific “Plan of Care” that is developed and regularly updated for each patient. In addition to your physical/medical needs, your hospice Plan of Care also addresses your psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Long Term Care & Hospice
Americans are experiencing a longer life span than ever before. It is estimated that by the year 2030, one in five Americans will be over 65 years of age. The number of elderly individuals who do not have a support system which can provide residential care continues to increase - long-term care helps to fill this critical need in today’s health care community.
In contrast to the rapid decline that precedes death from cancer, individuals typically found living in senior living environments generally suffer from multiple chronic conditions which cause a slow steady decline in functional ability that culminates in extreme debility and ultimately death. Often as the result of their slow decline the chronically ill patient’s terminal status is not recognized and adequate support prior to death is delayed or never obtained.
The hallmark of hospice care is that it is provided wherever you live – this includes group homes, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. Unfortunately, hospice services are generally underutilized in long term care environments. When utilized, hospice, working in conjunction with the long term care facility staff, is able to support the patient and their family as they move through end of life challenges.
When a long term care resident is enrolled in hospice, the hospice staff focuses on managing the patient’s symptoms, reducing the need for hospitalizations and improving patient and family satisfaction with care. Pain management is often a critical issue. Many elderly individuals who live with daily pain either are not receiving adequate pain management or are getting treatment that is inconsistent with current pain management guidelines. Hospice staff possesses the needed expertise to comprehensively evaluate and manage pain and other symptoms.
The hospice-long term care partnership allows patients to receive care from a team of end-of-life professionals that specialize in humanizing the very difficult task of dying. Hospice care provides psychosocial and spiritual support in addition to pain control and symptom management. Hospice staff also provides education and skills building to family members and facility care givers to assist in decreasing the concerns and anxiety which exist when individuals are dealing with death and dying. Family members of patients who received hospice care report improved satisfaction with the care their loved one received and their overall end of life experience
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