Our staff’s interactions with patients and families often inspire development or adoption of a program tailored to a unique need or special population.
Through conversation and observation, we identify ways to ease the burden of those experiencing one of life’s most difficult journeys.
We Honor Veterans
Iowa City Hospice has a deep respect and gratitude for the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans and takes very seriously the importance of providing “veteran-centric” care at end of life. Our volunteers and staff undergo specialized training to provide empathic, nonjudgmental support to veterans and their families.
Iowa City Hospice is a participant in the national initiative “We Honor Veterans.” Led by the Veterans Affairs Administration and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, we have demonstrated our commitment and knowledge of veteran’s issues by achieving four levels of skill.
Is a veteran eligible for VA Benefits if they choose hospice?
Yes! A veteran who is eligible for VA Benefits, as well as either Medicare or Medicaid, can elect to receive hospice care. This is provided under the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit. All other care, unrelated to the terminal illness, will be covered by the VA Medical Benefits Package. Veterans who are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid can access hospice care through their VA Hospice Benefit.
Those patients who have served in the US Armed Forces will receive a certificate of appreciation presented by an Iowa City Hospice staff member or volunteer.
Pet Peace of Mind
Pet Peace of Mind provides whatever services are necessary to keep patient and pet together throughout the end of life journey. We empower patients to make decisions about the care of their pets and then help them to carry out those decisions.
Our program offers care for the animal family members of a seriously ill person. Whatever is needed – providing the pet with exercise or transport to a veterinarian – our Pet Peace of Mind program can help.
“Like an antique watch or pair of eyeglasses passed down through the generations, a recorded account of a life story becomes a treasured family heirloom, stopping time for a moment of reflection and celebration every time it is read.”
Iowa City Hospice’s Legacy Project captures our patient’s “endangered” stories, images and wisdom in a variety of forms.
Oral interviews can be recorded and transcribed, or notes expanded into a captivating narrative. Professional photographic portraits create an “occasion” to capture the patient and their relationships. Memory books can include memorabilia, photos, and important family documents to be bound in a book or scanned onto a CD. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination.
11th Hour Volunteers
When it is anticipated that a patient is within 24-48 hours of death, their family or a member of Iowa City Hospice’s staff may request 24-hour volunteer support to ensure that the patient does not die alone or to provide support to the family. 11th Hour Volunteers are those willing to spend time with a patient who is actively dying. Volunteers may hold the patient’s hand, read aloud to the patient, alert staff if the patient appears to be in pain, or be a listening ear for the family.
Advance Care Planning
The mission of Honoring Your Wishes is to promote and sustain a community-wide advance care planning process where individuals’ health care preferences are discussed, documented, and honored by families, friends, and the health care community.
Iowa City Hospice recognized a need for an improved advance care planning process in our community. In September 2010, we invited community leaders to come together and learn about Respecting Choices, an evidence-based advance care planning system in La Crosse, Wisconsin. At that gathering, 22 community leaders volunteered to serve as a steering committee. The group first met in December 2010, and the initiative was launched in Johnson County.
What Is Advance Care Planning?
Advance care planning is a process for people to make informed decisions about health care preferences based upon their values and beliefs. It encourages reflection and discussion with an individual’s health care providers and their circle of support to determine health care goals and interventions. As people age and their circumstances change, it is important to regularly review and communicate health care preferences to ensure that health care wishes are honored.
We encourage all adults with decision-making capacity to meet with a certified Advance Care Planning facilitator.