St. Luke’s Hospice
Compassionate End-of-Life Care
in the Lehigh Valley
Hospice provides patients and their families with compassionate end-of-life care. The focus is on care, not cure, and on quality and value of life, not the length.
In most cases, care is provided in the patient’s own home. Hospice is available to people of any age, religion or race.
Hospice uses palliative care - controlling pain and lessening the symptoms of the disease – so that patients can live as comfortably as possible. Support is provided to loved ones, as well.
St. Luke’s Hospice serves the greater Lehigh Valley and all or parts of the following counties:
- Upper Bucks
St. Luke’s Hospice encourages you to enjoy the relationships and activities that are most important to you. Visitors are encouraged at any time. Activities and hobbies can be enjoyed within the limits of your illness. Whenever possible, the hospice team provides opportunities for enhancing your day. A patient once described this experience, saying, "Hospice cannot add days to your life, but they can absolutely add life to your days."
Best Time to Ask
Now is the best time to learn more about hospice. End-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, but it is best for family members to share their wishes early. This can greatly reduce stress when the time for hospice is needed. By having these discussions in advance, you can make an educated decision that includes the advice and input of family members and loved ones.
Hospice services available to you and your family include:
- A care plan developed with your physician
- Management of pain and symptoms
- Skilled nursing care
- Help with personal care and activities of daily living
- Counseling provided by social workers
- Spiritual care for patients and family members
- Bereavement support
- On-call support by physicians, nurses, and support services 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week
- Medical equipment (i.e. hospital beds)
- Drugs for symptom control and pain relief
- Volunteer support to assist loved ones
- Physical, speech and occupational therapy
- Dietary counseling
For each patient and family, this care team writes a care plan with you and your family that is used to make sure you receive the care you need from the team. Typically, full-time registered nurses provide care to about a dozen different patients and families. Social workers usually work with about twice the number of patients/families as nurses. Home health aides, who provide personal care to you, will visit most frequently if needed.
All visits, however, are based on your needs and those of your family as described in the care plan and as dictated by your condition during the course of your illness. The frequency of volunteers and spiritual care is often dependent upon the family request and the availability of these services. Travel requirements and other factors may cause some variation in how many patients each hospice staff serves.
Making you comfortable at St. Luke’s Hospice
You may have pain and other symptoms with your illness. Hospice staff is trained to help with pain, discomfort and distress. We measure how comfortable you are during your stay in hospice. Hospice staff works with your doctor on the medications, therapies and procedures to achieve the goals outlined in your care plan. We review the care plan often to make sure any changes and new goals are included.
Hospice volunteers are available to run errands, prepare light meals, stay with you to give family members a break or lend emotional support and companionship to you and your family.
Hospice volunteers are trained in areas such as understanding hospice, confidentiality, working with families, listening skills, signs and symptoms of approaching death, loss and grief and bereavement support.