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Hospice Care

Rhea Heil Seasons Hospice Inpatient Unit

Hospice care is a philosophy of caring that assists those nearing the end of life and in need of refuge. It is a system of caring designed to restore dignity and provide a sense of personal fulfillment to patients facing a terminal illness. The focus is on the patient and the family rather than the disease; the goal is to improve the quality of life that remains.

For those patients, Sinai-Grace has partnered with Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care to create the Rhea Heil Seasons Inpatient Hospice Unit, the first of its kind in Michigan.

The10-bed unit is located on the second floor of the main hospital. The unit provides a comforting alternative for patients with a hospice diagnosis, including round-the-clock comfort care and time with their families in a comfortable home-like setting.

Who is Hospice For?

A patient may qualify for a short-term stay at the Seasons Inpatient Unit for a number of reasons, including:

  • uncontrolled pain
  • decreased blood pressure
  • decreased urine output
  • intractable nausea
  • vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • respiratory distress
  • decubiti or other skin lesions/wounds
  • other symptoms that are unmanageable at home (active seizures, active bleeding, etc.)
  • need for respite care (up to five days)
  • the family doesn't want the patient to die at home.

Patients can stay as long as necessary to get symptoms under control or to make arrangements for care in another setting. The average stay in the Inpatient Unit is 5-7 days.

The Seasons Inpatient Unit staff works closely with the patients and families to assist them with discharge planning. The hospice team will continue to care for patients and families when they leave the Inpatient Unit while the patient remains on the hospice program.

Hospice Team

The Seasons Hospice team consists of:

  • Physicians
  • Hospice Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Chaplains
  • Volunteers
  • Hospice Aides
  • Music Therapists.

Hospice Programs

Our unique programs; Open Access, Music Therapy, A Touch for All Seasons (created for patients with dementia) provide specific interventions that meet the needs of our patients and their families. Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care of Michigan serves the southeastern Michigan area. The mission of Seasons is to find creative solutions that add to the patients’ quality of life. We believe in the patient/family focus of hospice care, recognizing that individuals and families are the experts in their own care.

For more information, please call us 24/7 at 800-370-8592 or www.seasons.org.

Patient Story

Homelike Atmosphere, Advanced Medical Care

Tracy Thompson’s sister Charlotte Clark recently spent her final days in the unit before losing her battle with cancer. Thompson says that, “without the compassion, and moral and medical support of the Seasons staff, I don’t think I would have been able to get through it.”

Thompson says having her sister cared for in the unit was, “less worry for me. As much as I would have liked to bring her home, I couldn’t supply the medical needs the hospital can supply.”

“By admitting a family member to the hospice unit at Sinai-Grace the patient gets personal care just as at home,” says Robert Zalenski, M.D., a board-certified palliative care and hospice physician at Sinai-Grace. The completely renovated 10-bed unit is staffed 24 hours a day by specially trained nurses and palliative care physicians.

“Our professionals are skilled in symptom management or any crisis associated with end-of-life care,” says Annemarie Switchulis, Seasons chief operating officer. Innovative complementary holistic therapies such as music therapy, massage and pet therapy, help put patients at ease. Bereavement counseling and spiritual support are available. Families can gather in homelike spaces, such as a children’s room complete with DVDs and games, and a reflection room for spiritual needs.

Thompson says patients shouldn’t worry that hospice will speed up the patient’s end of life. “Hospice doesn’t mean you’re trying to rush their death, you’re putting them there because you love them and want their last days comfortable.”

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