Senior Health – Hospice
Southwest Medical Associates
Lisa Rosenberg, MD
Medical Director of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
What is hospice care?
“Hospice is actually not a place, it’s a service that we provide for patients as they near the end of their lives. When patients or their caregivers or providers note that the curative efforts really are not successful or cause undue discomfort to the patient and it’s a switch from curative efforts over to efforts that comfort the patient and their family. Frankly it’s getting everybody on the same page that, this is the last path the patient will take and our teams job is to ease that path for everybody, physical comfort, spiritual comfort and helping manage the psychological stress associated with caring for someone in that phase”.
How do you prepare?
“The patient and their families arrive at that decision through ongoing discussions, it’s the dialog that is most important for these patients and when they do arrive at that discussion, we are here to help”.
Advanced Care Planning
“Advanced care planning is a process in which patients think about exactly what kind of health care they want in the future and they need to take into account what it is that they have and what medical problems do they already have, it’s always better to make these decisions sooner rather than later. The difficult issue is when patients haven’t engaged in an advance care planning and loved ones are struggling to make the best decision for the patient. So, it’s really important for every single person, not just sick people, to share their values with loved ones and let someone know in the healthcare setting like their primary care doctor who it is that would speak for them if it had to come to that”.
“So, Southwest Medical Hospice opened 28 years ago as Family Home Hospice and at the time was the only resource for HIV and AIDs patients in the last phase of their lives. Currently we serve 144 patients with nursing, home health aides, chaplain c social work and therapy as well”.
“We really provide the full spectrum of services and we are always looking for the best way to take care of our patients”.