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Hospice houses lead the way in a heart-breaking time of pandemic

This article about the hospice houses of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of Healthy KC Magazine. Kansas City Hospice House and NorthCare Hospice House offer expert and compassionate care in a serene, family-friendly environment.

by Wanda Kelsey-Mendez

hospice and palliative careIn March 2020, the first COVID nursing home death occurred in the Kansas City area and as a result, hospitals began limiting visitors and most skilled nursing facilities went on lockdown. The COVID Task Force at Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care had already begun to write protocols and search for PPE. Their mission to provide expert, compassionate care could not be ignored, even in a pandemic.

In most circumstances, hospice is provided wherever patients call home, allowing them to be comfortable in their final days. Immediate changes to already tight safety protocols were combined with quick implementation of telehealth with physicians, nurses, chaplains, and social workers.


“The 2012 report on Crisis Standards of Care from the Institute of Medicine, declared that ‘provision of palliative care in the context of a disaster with scarce resources can be considered a moral imperative of a humane society. That call to action was largely ignored in the first wave of this pandemic, but it is more real now than ever during ongoing threats of overwhelming local and regional surges in demand for palliative and hospice care.”

~ JAMA, September 21, 2020


Kansas City Hospice’s two hospice houses, however, would face a different challenge entirely. A hospice house is designed to provide short-term acute care when symptoms are too complex to be handled at home. Plus, it offers respite care when home caregivers need a break. What would happen if the family member of a home hospice patient contracted the coronavirus or a hospice house patient tested positive?

CONTINUE READING AT HEALTHY KC to learn how the hospice houses quickly adapted to the changing needs of patients and families.

“We have done so much to ensure the safety of our patients and families while preserving the sanctity of being there at time of death with a loved one,” states Paul Weddle, COO of Kansas City Hospice.

About Us

 
The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. Our vision is that each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.

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Our Programs

There's a long list of hospices in Kansas City, but there's only one Kansas City Hospice. Our programs provide comprehensive expert care for all ages at all stages of serious illness.

Hospice Care

When the focus shifts to comfort instead of treatment, care comes to your home or nursing facility with a plan tailored to your needs, including emotional and spiritual support for the whole family.

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Hospice Care

Palliative Home Health Care

When complex needs benefit from a team approach, supportive home care brings the care you need, with 24/7 nurse support for pain, stress and symptoms due to serious illness.

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Palliative Home Health Care

Advanced Illness Support

Beginning as early as diagnosis and at any stage of serious illness, our nurse practitioners make home visits as needed to help coordinate your care and provide expert pain and symptom management.

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Advanced Illness Support
Hospice House

Hospice House

When symptoms cannot be easily managed at home, two hospice houses provide 24/7 expert care in comfortable home-line settings where family members can be relieved of caregiving duties to focus on loved ones.

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Carousel Pediatric Care

Carousel provides palliative and hospice care for perinatal and for babies through young adults with a dedicated team of pediatric nurses, social workers, chaplains and other specialists.

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Carousel Pediatric Care
Solace House

Solace House

Our center for grief and healing supports individuals and families who have been impacted by the death of a loved one, whether anticipated, or sudden and unexpected. We provide opportunities to share, listen, learn and heal with peer group support from age 3 through adult.

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