Nursing Homes & Assisted Living
For people living in nursing homes, Hospice of Cincinnati works in partnership with the nursing home staff in developing a plan of care that promotes dignity and quality end-of-life care. Our goal is to keep the resident in their “home” while enhancing quality of life and managing comfort.
Maintaining Independence and Dignity
Louise Dow was always fiercely independent and loved to travel. "I was never afraid to step on a plane by myself," she remembers. She also was an active volunteer in the small Iowa town she called home until she was diagnosed with aortic stenosis five years ago. A narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve, this condition causes the heart to work harder and harder, leading to myriad complications. Dow’s home soon became Breese Manor at Maple Knoll Village in Springdale so she could be closer to family.
Last spring, Maple Knoll’s medical director, Susan Davis, MD, recommended that Dow consider hospice care as her health began to further decline. Her daughter, Ann Akeson, was familiar with hospice services. "We experienced the caring staff of hospice when my first husband passed away," she remembers.
"I thought hospice was only for people who were dying right away," comments 91-year-old Dow. She soon discovered Hospice of Cincinnati offers far more. Health aides visit daily to help with her personal care. "Edna (Elder) gives me a shower and really encourages me," Dow says. Akeson is very complimentary of the care her mother is receiving. "Mom’s health aide, Edna, is an exceptionally kind and empathetic person who has truly found her calling," she says. "She and mom have developed a special rapport that has made a real difference."
Valorie Bloomer, RN, Hospice of Cincinnati case manager, coordinates all aspects of Dow’s care with Dr. Davis. "Valorie comes out once a week to check mom’s vitals, evaluate her responses, her breathing and her neuropathy," Akeson says. "Checking on her so often means she really stays on top of things and any changes. I feel very comfortable because Valorie calls me after every visit to give me an update."
After dealing with several late-night emergencies, Akeson also appreciates having a hospice nurse on-call 24-hours-a day. "Mom had terribly high blood pressure one night and there was a stroke concern," she remembers. "We had an immediate response."
Hospice of Cincinnati’s massage therapist has started visiting every other week to provide relaxing neck massages, and a volunteer visits to provide companionship in addition to the family’s daily visit. Hospice of Cincinnati is focusing on symptom management, pain control and holistic services as well as the depression that comes with Dow’s loss of independence. Known for compassionate, customized care, Hospice of Cincinnati is helping Dow maintain as much independence as possible.
Dow started out in an independent living apartment at Maple Knoll but needed more care and is now in assisted living. "Our goal is to keep her here and out of a more skilled nursing situation so she can maintain as much independence as possible," Akeson explains. "The staff at Maple Knoll and Hospice of Cincinnati are making that possible."