End of Life Care #stillhuman
End of life is a difficult subject to tackle.
For the most part, people don’t like to entertain conversations regarding death and dying. There is an overwhelming feeling of sadness and discomfort that accompanies these conversations. Although, it does not have to be this way. There is a particular establishment in the Schenectady community that provides end of life care however, the Joan Nicole Prince Home goes about this process a little differently. This facility will be the main focus of this post because of their unique approach to end of life care. If I were a terminally ill patient or a family member seeking care for my loved one, the JNP Home would be an option for me to consider, if I did not require round the clock medical care such as dialysis and was willing to sign a DNR. Their mission is to provide comfort and compassionate care to those who are terminally ill and to help to make them feel at home during their final days, the feel strongly about continuing to treat their residents . They have both staff and volunteers that spend quality time with the residents; from reminiscing good memories to simply sitting by their bedside, those who work at the home establish meaningful relationships residents. This sets the Jon Nicole Prince Home apart from a hospice facility or a hospital where the staff might not be dedicated to making the patient feel comforted. Moreover, ‘home’ is not a figure of speech. The Joan Nicole Prince Home has bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a backyard providing a genuine home experience for the residents.
Those who wish to be chosen to become a resident must have a prognosis of three months or less, they must already be under hospice care, and they additionally must sign a DNR. The last requirement might be striking yet, the Joan Nicole Prince Home is not a medical facility. They do not have physicians or nurses on staff thus, there would not be qualified medical personnel to perform a resuscitation or any life-saving measures. The reasoning behind this is something that was discussed with Amanda Neveu, the Executive Director at the JNP Home. She explained that being a medical facility would be difficult because the Home is a non-profit, and it would be difficult to fund; but, also it goes against the home-like feeling and could take away from the overall experience of feeling safe and at home for the residents. Those who come to the home do not pay for their time there, it is completely free of charge, which broadens access for residents who don’t have insurance or the money to pay for expensive end of life services.
As aforesaid, the requirements for the JNP Home are fairly strict so, if a patient does not qualify there are other options within the community available. Ellis Medicine offers a Palliative Care program for terminally ill patients, whether they have cancer or other illnesses. However, these services are not free, it is likely that a patient would need insurance, Medicare or Medicaid or other funds to be able to pay for palliative care which would include hospice in end of life. Cost restricts access to end of life care because it is expensive, and people cannot afford it. In addition, there is a facility in Niskayuna called Brookdale Senior Living that also offers Hospice care. Their services can be covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. Hospice care at Brookdale includes services for not only the patient but also the family, that includes grief counseling and emotional or spiritual support. This type of care differs from the JNP Home in that Brookdale is a medical facility with physicians and nurses on staff. Thus, this would be an option for someone who needed round the clock medical care.
Paying for Hospice Care, the breakdown