The focus of hospice relies on the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our loved ones will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.
Back in 1986, local community leaders devoted many hours to the establishment of the Dr. Wayne J. Schall Hospice Program at ALMH. Services were both home based and hospital based. The Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation sought funds to help keep the program going. In 1996, the Schall Hospice Program dissolved and Visiting Nurses Association / Hospice Care of Illinois began providing care to patients in Logan and eastern Mason counties. This change was largely invisible to the local community as local community members still served as volunteers and nurses, and respite care was still available at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Today, the Memorial Home Services Hospice team provides the quality, compassionate care that local people facing a life-limiting illness or injury deserve. The MHS Hospice team provides care to patients both in their home, and in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Hospice and palliative care involve a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Memorial Home Services Hospice also provides bereavement support to the patient's loved ones for up to a year after the patient's death.
Specifically, the interdisciplinary hospice team:
- Manages the patient's pain and symptoms
- Assists the patient with the emotional and psychosocial and spiritual aspects of dying
- Provides needed medications, medical supplies, and equipment
- Coaches the family on how to care for the patient
- Delivers special services like speech and physical therapy when needed
- Makes short-term inpatient care available when pain or symptoms become too difficult to manage at home, or the caregiver needs respite time
- Provides bereavement care and counseling to surviving family and friends
Memorial donations to support local hospice care are still accepted by the Abraham Lincoln Healthcare Foundation. These gifts are acknowledged locally and are used to reimburse the cost of pain medications for hospice patients in Logan and Mason counties. Hospice donations are also accepted by Memorial Home Services Hospice at 720 N. Bond Street in Springfield.