Illinois-headquartered Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care is growing with the establishment of a new inpatient hospice unit on the 8th floor of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla. The hospice and the hospital redesigned the former acute care space to create a more serene environment conducive to end-of-life care.
Most hospice care is provided in the patient’s home, with 98% of all patient care days occurring at the routine home care level, but when patients experience severe symptoms that cannot be managed effectively in the home they must receive treatment in an inpatient hospice facility, be it freestanding or located on the grounds of a partnering hospital.
More than 48% of hospice patients pass away in their homes, compared to 11% who die in hospice inpatient facility or 7% who die in an acute care hospital, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization.
“Having our hospice unit on a partner hospital’s grounds allows us to address in a timely way the patient and family’s urgent needs while providing as much comfort as possible,” said Paula Di Landro, executive director for Seasons’ Hillsborough County, Fla., operations. “Working with an acute care hospital is a natural partnership, allowing us to be the end-of-life specialists while also helping the hospital with its metrics for length of stay or readmissions, among others.”
Design of the unit is distinct from the acute care areas of the building, favoring home-like, less institutional decor. The walls are painted in colors such as sea-foam green, orange or turquoise, and rooms are often adorned with quilts or other craft pieces made by volunteers. Noise on the floor is kept to a minimum.
The floor includes 10 private patient rooms that include sofas and recliners on which family can rest. There is a separate family area designed to look like a typical living room with couches, chairs and television sets. That area also includes a children’s play space as well as a kitchen stocked with snacks beverages and other necessities for family members.
“These are difficult times for families, and most people don’t always take the best care of themselves when a loved one is ill,” Di Landro told Hospice News. “So in an effort to help we have some items available that you would otherwise have at your home or at your disposal in order to keep yourself hydrated and maintain some self-care.”