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CONTINUUM CARE, INC.

Hospice of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John

 

What is Hospice Care?

       Hospice is not a place but a concept of care that is recognized as the model of quality, compassionate health care delivery for those facing life-limiting illness.

       Since 2000, Continuum Care, Inc. has provided care to Virgin Islanders, many who were able to return home to St. Croix to spend their final days with family and friends. CCI has been Medicare Certified since August 2001. There are 3,200 hospice providers in the United States that provided care to more than 885,000 terminally ill Americans in 2002.

       In February 2004, Continuum Care, Inc. began providing hospice care for St. Thomas and St. John and received Medicare certification in June 2004.

       Hospice care utilizes a team of health care professionals that address symptom control, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient�s needs and wishes.

       Support, caregiver training, and grief counseling are available for family and loved ones. Bereavement services are also available.

       Most hospice services are provided in the home, care is also available in residential care settings.

       Hospice allows the illness to follow its natural course. The focus in on caring, not curing. Hospice provides care regardless of diagnosis.

       Hospice services, in the VI, are covered under Medicare, Cigna and most private insurance plans. Donations made to Continuum Care are used solely on patient care for those in need.

Hospice Care is Not Limited to Six-months of Service:

       While many insurance companies, as well as the Medicare Hospice Benefit, require that a terminally ill patient have a prognosis of six months or less, there is not a six-month limit to hospice care services.

       Hospice eligibility requirements should not be confused with length of service.

       A patient in the final phase of life may receive hospice care for as long as necessary when a physician certifies that he or she continues to meet eligibility requirements.

       Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, two 90-day periods of care (a total of six months) are followed by an unlimited number of 60-day periods.

Americans are Aging, so are Virgin Islanders:

       Today, there are more than 40 million Americans over the age of 65; in the next thirty years that number is expected to double.

       People over the age of 85 are the fastest growing segment of our population.

       It is estimated that there are more than 72,000 people who have reached 100 years of age. In the next fifty years that number is expected to reach 834,000.  

       Continuum Care has actively been assisting individuals and families understand important issues and complete their end-of-life wishes. It is estimated that fewer than 25% of all Americans have completed advance directives that tell their family and physician what their wishes would be should they face a life-limiting illness.

Increasing Awareness is Vital:

       While the number of Americans receiving hospice and palliative care grows each year, it is estimated that for every patient who receives hospice, another patient could benefit from the comprehensive services hospice provides but does not receive this special care.

       In 2001, national statistics reveal that 34% of hospice patients died within seven days or less, often an inadequate time for the patient and family to take advantage of the range of available services.

       Many people are unaware that hospice care is available.

       Lack of awareness of hospice means that too many Virgin Islanders still die alone or in pain. Too many patients are being referred to hospice care too late, or not at all. And too many families are left without bereavement support.

       U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has indicated that expanding the reach of hospice care holds enormous potential benefits for those nearing the end of life.

Hospice is the Care Americans Want:

       Research by the National Hospice Foundation identifies the top four concerns Americans have surrounding end-of-life care:

o       Someone to be sure that the patient�s wishes are enforced;

o       Choice among the types of services the patient can receive;

o       Pain control tailored to the patient�s wishes; and

o       Emotional support for the patient and family.

       Research has consistently shown that almost 80% of Americans would prefer to die in their homes, free of pain, surrounded by family and loved ones. Hospice makes this happen. However, of the 2.4 million people who die in this country each year, only 25% actually die at home.

       Hospice and palliative care addresses the major concerns of most Americans.

 

 

Continuum Care, Inc.

 

Medicare Certified

 

St. Croix (340) 772-CARE (2273) s Fax (340) 719-7632

St. Thomas and St. John (340) 714 CARE (2273) s Fax (340) 714-2280

www.ccivi.com

 

Member: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

National Association of Home Cares American Pain Society s AARP

Lutheran Social Services s InterFaith Coalition s Rotary s Chamber of Commerce

 

 

 

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