Caring For You At The End Of Life - Northfield Hospice
After Hours/Weekends: 507-646-1244. Ask to have the on-call hospice nurse paged.
At Northfield Hospice, we know the end of life is a difficult time for patients and their families. Hospice is a program of care for patients who are considered to be in the last phase of life. It provides support and help for these patients and for their families. Hospice is not a place, but a philosophy of care that recognizes that death is likely near and improving the quality of life has a greater importance than increasing the length of life.
Hospice is a team-oriented approach that provides medical, emotional and spiritual support tailored to your needs and wishes. The goal of hospice care is comfort (palliative) rather than cure. Our hospice team of nurses, social workers, chaplains and hospice volunteers will work with you, your family and your healthcare provider to provide comfort, dignity and peace of mind during this time of transition.
Goals of Hospice Care
At Northfield Hospice, we know the end of life is a difficult time for patients and their families. We work together to develop a care plan that meets your individual needs including pain management and symptom control.
- Recognize that dying is a natural state and we do not seek to hasten or postpone death
- Preserve familiar daily routines for as long as possible
- Provide compassionate, respectful care and help manage symptoms
- Preserve dignity and ensure the integrity of personal choice
- Focus care on physical, emotional and spiritual needs
- Provide continuity of care, whether at home or in a nursing facility
- Support family and friends during the period of grief and bereavement
How Hospice Care Works
Typically, a family member or friend serves as the primary caregiver and, when appropriate, helps make decisions. The hospice care team visits regularly to assess the care plan and provide any additional care or services. Hospice staff are on-call 24/7.
Qualifying for Hospice Care
- Hospice patients must:
- Have a life expectancy of six months or less
- Be referred to hospice by a doctor
- Have a doctor who is willing to work with the hospice team
- Accept comfort care
- Have a responsible primary caregiver or agree to develop an alternate plan of care
What Hospice Care Provides
- Pain and symptom management from RNs
- In-home visits, plus phone consultations available 24/7
- Home health aides to assist with bathing, personal care, simple tasks
- Medications, medical supplies and equipment
- Counseling from social workers
- Visits from spiritual care providers who respect your faith and beliefs
- Bereavement support for your loved ones
The Hospice team makes an initial assessment addressing your medical, emotional and spiritual needs, and discusses with your doctor.Together with you and your family, they create a plan that is tailored to your specific needs and wishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should hospice care start?
Hospice care is of greatest benefit when it is started early enough to allow you to:
- Maintain independence and your familiar routines for as long as possible
- Complete important tasks
- Organize personal affairs
- Complete spiritual services
- Visit with friends and say goodbye to loved ones
Where can I receive hospice care?
Care is provided wherever patients call home, including house or apartment, nursing home or assisted living facility.
How is hospice care paid for?
Medicare and Medicaid will pay expenses related to the terminal illnesses including medications, medical equipment and supplies. Private insurance will be reviewed before starting hospice services.
Hospice Care Team
Hospice services are provided by an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals and trained volunteers who address medical, emotional and spiritual needs associated with the end of life. The team takes care to preserve the familiar, daily routines whenever possible.
The Hospice team consists of:
- The person receiving care
- The person’s caregivers
- The primary doctor
- Hospice Medical Director
- Registered Nurses
- Home health aides
- Medical Social Workers
- Spiritual care givers/Chaplains
- Bereavement specialists
- Specially trained volunteers
How Can I Learn More?
To learn more about hospice, call the Hospice Director at Northfield Hospital & Clinics at 507-646-1457. If you're a current hospice family and need to speak to a nurse, call 507-646-1457 Monday -Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. After hours and on weekends, call 507-646-1244 and ask to have the on-call hospice nurse paged.
"We are permitted to grieve because we have been privileged to love. To escape grief at the cost of never having loved is too dear a price to pay." -Author Unknown
Bereavement services are provided to patients and families as part of our holistic hospice care, and continue for grieving families after the death of their loved one. As part of our follow-up, you will receive personal contact by members of our Hospice Team in person or by phone. If you would like to schedule a visit or learn more about resources in Northfield and the surrounding communities, please contact the Northfield Hospice Bereavement Coordinator at 507-646-1349.
Bereavement Article Series
Each month you will receive an article and additional writings about some aspect of grief and loss. Please share these articles and information with others who may appreciate the information and insights. We hope they become a helpful resource to you and your family members.
Bereavement Support Groups
Northfield is fortunate to have a coalition of people that work together each year to provide several events and support groups to support those that are grieving. Dates and times for all events and support groups are listed in the Northfield Grief Coalition Brochure which can be found in the Patient Information section below.
Tree of Remembrance
Our annual tree lighting ceremony in December is a unique way to remember your loved one and raise money for hospice services as we enter into the holiday season. Strings of lights may be purchased to dedicate to your special person. This event is open to the public. Please contact the hospice office for more information.
Annual Hospice Memorial Service
In the spring, Northfield Hospice holds a Memorial Service to bring together family members and friends to remember and honor the people who have been a part of our hospice program. You will receive an invitation closer to the date and we look forward to seeing you at this special event.
Volunteering and Donations
Northfield Hospital & Clinics' hospice services are made possible through the dedication and commitment of community members like you. If you'd like to play an active role in our hospice services, we welcome both volunteers and monetary donations.
Volunteer With Us
In addition to our interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, we offer dedicated volunteers trained in end-of-life care. Our volunteers:
- Provide companionship and emotional support by actively listening
- Provide massage therapy to the patient to ease stress and discomfort
- Provide music and pet therapy with certified therapy dogs
- Run errands, help with household needs and assist with meals
- Read aloud or provide help with writing letters
- Offer bereavement support to family members after their loved one has passed
Outside of assisting directly with patients and their families, many volunteers also help with fundraising, clerical tasks, event-planning and other special projects. We offer free training for hospice volunteers as well as regular meetings throughout the year to enable volunteers to develop their skills and knowledge about end-of-life care and other aspects of hospice. Volunteers should be able to commit at least a year to the program and be at least 18 years of age. If you're interested in becoming a hospice volunteer, download our application and call 507-646-1457 to schedule an interview.
Many family members and friends of those served by hospice opt to make contributions to the program as a lasting and meaningful memorial. If you'd like to make a financial gift, download our donation form and send it along with your check to the address provided on the form.
Care Team - Top Doctors & Providers
- Maria Cashman RN
- Allison Ohnesorge RN
- Stan Partin, RN
- Vicki Schetnan RN
- Alison Valinski RN
Home Health Aides
- Wanda Bottema HHA
- Denise Peterson HHA
- Patricia Kadrlik HHA
- Avonne Kaplan HHA
Other Hospice Care Team Members
- Allison Ohnesorge RN - Intake/Referrlas
- Sara Lippert MSW - Hospice Social Worker/Hospice Bereavement Coordinator
- Susan Warring MSW - Hospice Social Worker
- Kelly Burge - Hospice Volunteer Coordinator
- Karl Kruse - Hospice Chaplain