Archive for 'Did You Know?'

No-Fault Divorce Creates Shortage of Family Caregivers

Posted on 26. Aug, 2009 by .

Marshall Astor.

Who got the van? Who gets the caregiver? Photo: Marshall Astor.

Here’s just one more reason you’ll never see HHAs go away: The first generation to split en masse after no-fault divorce is aging. So their grown children continue to toggle between households to care for them, much like they lugged suitcases between mom’s house and dad’s house when they were kids.

And many adult children caring for aging parents have more than two, once you count step-parents in the mix, reports The New York Times. “Four stops,” one adult caregiver tells the Times. “I don’t get as much time with each of them as I’d like.”

Warning: This demographic might be short of cash for out-of-pocket health care bills. Research shows that many people become poorer after a divorce, and their children are stretched thinner trying to help out 2 or three households. More from the Times

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Study: Does Meaning-Based Therapy Help Late-Stage Cancer Patients?

Posted on 17. Jul, 2009 by .

When Lance Can't Help

When Lance Can’t Help

Hospice professionals will want to keep a close eye on the findings of an ongoing psycho-oncology study at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

The study aims to alleviate depression in terminally-ill cancer patients by getting them involved in meaning-based therapy. While much of the psychology surrounding cancer extols a positive attitude, “I’m not Lance Armstrong,” study participant Midge Wilker tells The Wall Street Journal.

The study is testing what many palliative caregivers know instinctively — that patients’ anxiety fades and their spirits are strengthened when they can talk with others about the meaning of their lives and deaths.

“You are not dying of cancer—you are living with cancer until you pass. You can make it meaningful, even if all you can do is lie in bed,” says Dr. Shannon Poppito, a clinical psychologist who leads many of the sessions. More from The Wall Street Journal

CD: How to add new life to your hospice volunteer program. With Barbara Gray.

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Hospice Volunteer Quick Facts

Posted on 17. Jun, 2009 by .


45.1 hours: That’s the average time a hospice volunteer racks up per year. The average yearly number of visits per year is 18, according to statistics from a National Hospice and Pallative Care Organization report.

Most volunteers (almost 60 percent) directly cared for patients and families, NHPCO adds. Other volunteers did clerical work (25 percent) or ‘general support’ such as fundraising or serving on boards (18 percent).

YOU KNOW THE FACTS, BUT DO YOU KNOW THE TRICKS? Learn to make the most of Medicare’s CoP rule to create a volunteer program that thrives, not just survives. An on-demand audio with Barbara Gray.

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New Research: Physicians Don’t Discuss Hospice with Terminally Ill Patients

Posted on 15. Jun, 2009 by .


A new study published in the Archives on Internal Medicine confirms what many hospice professionals already know: doctors often fail to hold the crucial hospice conversation as patients near the end of life.

“Researchers interviewed 1,517 patients or their families four to seven months after a stage IV lung cancer diagnosis and asked whether they discussed hospice with a physician or other health professional,” reports American Medical News. Even though a patient with metastatic lung cancer typically lives only four to eight months after diagnosis, only 53% of the patients and families interviewed reported that they had talked to a physician about hospice options.

ON DEMAND AUDIO TRAINING EVENT: How to make the most of the referrals your hospice does get. Barbara Gray reveals 5 ways your hospice can increase conversion rates.

Racial Divide: Black and Hispanic patients and families were 25 percent less likely than white patients to have discussed hospice, the study found.

Medicare’s Hospice Benefit Underutilized: Previous studies have found that fewer than half of cancer patients covered by Medicare die in hospice care, despite Medicare’s hospice. The recent Archives study showed that patients were three times more likely to get the benefits of pallative care in hospice if their doctors had discussed the hospice option with them.

Reasons why doctors don’t discuss hospice as often as they should are familiar. Many don’t want the patients or families to feel like they’re ‘giving up’ … Read more in AMNews.

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Your OASIS C Pressure Ulcer Training Kit

Posted on 28. May, 2009 by .


If you’re sweating over how your going to pull off that inservice on OASIS C’s new pressure ulcer standards, relax NOW. Here’s some helping hands waiting on the Internet to make your job easier and improve quality of care for your patients.

We’ve rounded up the best FREE pressure ulcer resources on the Web. Take a look, and use what you find to put together your teaching plan. And please comment with other good sites you know about so we can all work together to help out.

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel released the New International Guidelines for Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Treatment at its 2009 Biennial Conference. These guidelines will be available early this summer, NPUAP expects. Check its Web site at

Pressure Ulcer Staging Illustrations: How does ‘Stage Four’ look different from ‘Unstageable’? Download these free illustrations from NPUAP so that everyone on your staff can visualize the difference.

• Discussion on using the Braden scale for predicting pressure ulcer risk at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing’s Web site.

AUDIO TRAINING EVENT: 5 Must-have strategies that reduce medication-related pressure ulcer risks in home health, with Wayne Atkinson, CGP.

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