Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

Carroll Hospice will remember fallen heroes with a luminaria lighting on Sunday, October 6.
On this day, luminaria—paper bags filled with tea lights—will be lined up outside of Dove House, Carroll Hospice’s inpatient facility, to honor individuals who have died who had served in our country’s military or were first responders.
“Our event was so moving last year that we wanted to include all of our community heroes to be honored and recognized,” says Kimberly Benson, Carroll Hospice’s volunteer coordinator. “This includes many of our patients who have passed as well as those who were taken in the line of duty to our country or community.”
The public is invited to attend the event and personalize a bag in honor of a loved one. The lighting will begin at 6 p.m. and a short service will take place at 7 p.m. at Dove House, 292 Stoner Avenue, Westminster.
For more information or to personalize a bag in honor of a loved one, please call 410-871-8000.

Teamwork in Patient’s Final Hours Recognized

When there isn’t a lot of time and unexpected circumstances arise, cooperation and flexibility are key indicators of how well a team functions under pressure. Lorna Rice, Carroll Hospice social worker, and Art Monroe, Carroll Hospice chaplain, are a prime example of teamwork at its best. The duo was recently named team of the month for the comfort they provided during a patient’s final hours. 

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Finding a Quality Hospice Program

The American Association of Retired Persons® (AARP) recently posted information about choosing a hospice on their website. In the article, professionals recommend initiating conversations earlier to avoid patients and families needing to make a choice “under duress.” They also stressed the importance of prefacing any discussion regarding end-of-life care with first exploring what is important to the patient, what he or she understands about his or her illness, and how best to personalize his or her care.

The article also provided a list of questions to ask a hospice when considering enrolling in their care. The following is how Carroll Hospice would respond to those questions:

Q: Does the hospice’s medical director make home visits to address complex symptom management?

A: Yes. Our full-time medical director, John Middleton, M.D., cares for patients at Dove House and in the community.

Q: How and how quickly does the hospice respond to patient care crises after hours?

A: Carroll Hospice has staff available 24 hours/day every day of the year. Our NEWS Crew (Nights, Evenings and Weekend staff) consists of team members who specifically work after hours. Families consistently rate our after-hours responsiveness as being above the national benchmark.

Executive Director Regina Bodnar

Q: Does the hospice provide all levels of care mandated by the Medicare Hospice benefit?

A: Yes. Carroll Hospice is a fully compliant Medicare-certified hospice. General inpatient care is provided in our eight-bed inpatient facility, Dove House. Respite care is typically provided in a local nursing facility with which we partner. Continuous care is always available to symptomatic patients who choose not to leave the home setting. We bring the higher level of care to them.

Q: Is the hospice accredited by one of the three national organizations that survey hospices on their quality, which means it went above and beyond what is required by Medicare?

A: Yes. Carroll Hospice is accredited by Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP).

Q: Are the hospice’s professional staff individually certified as experts in their field by their recognized professional bodies?

A: Certification is required for all nursing and hospice aide staff members who have been with Carroll Hospice for four years or more. We are 100 percent compliant. Social workers, chaplains and our bereavement counselors have also individually pursued certification.

Q: How robust is the hospice’s volunteer program, and what does it include?

A: Volunteers are at the heart of Carroll Hospice—providing all those things to patients and families that do not require a professional touch. We have a vibrant Veteran Volunteer Program, doula program and pet visitation program among others.

Regina Bodnar is the executive director of Carroll Hospice.