In hospice care in Topeka, patient and family support paramount
By Regina Stephenson, Special to The Topeka Capital-Journal, January 6, 2018
The Topeka Capital-Journal recently talked with Karren Weichert, president and CEO of Midland Care in Topeka, about the hospice care industry. Excerpts from the discussion with Weichert, a professional in the field since 1990, follow.
Q: What does a hospice experience look like for a typical family?
Weichert: A family will work with a whole team for support. Each team has a nurse, a social worker, chaplain, home health aide and volunteers. The nurses will assess the patient and their home and teach the patient and family about what to expect and how to care for their loved one. The social worker helps the patient get plugged into resources like Meals on Wheels, can help communicate with insurance and can help the patient and their family emotionally through this process.
The chaplains walk with people where they are, helping the patient reconcile with whatever their belief system is, so they can die free from guilt, comfortable and at peace. The home health aides deliver actual in-home care, things like help with bathing and toileting, or even light housekeeping.
The volunteers are there just to befriend the patient and family through this time, maybe by talking or reading, or just sitting and holding the patient’s hand.
We also help both during an illness and after with opportunities for the family to grieve and hopefully come to a place of peace.