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Here is a great recipe for when you are craving a big bowl of chicken and dumplings but don’t want all the fat. Its use of whole wheat gnocchi makes it higher in fiber and simplifies the recipe. It makes a great Sunday dinner, and the leftovers are even better the next day!
November is National Hospice & Palliative Care Month. Regina Bodnar, executive director of Carroll Hospice, answers some frequently asked questions about hospice care.
How does a family know when a loved one is ready for hospice care?
This is perhaps one of the most difficult questions to answer. Some illnesses progress slowly, while others behave very differently. Some clues that might suggest a loved one is eligible for hospice care are recent hospitalizations or frequent visits to the doctor, a change in the ability to complete daily living tasks or a decrease in appetite. Symptoms such as pain, nausea or shortness of breath in the seriously ill or frail elderly should prompt a referral for evaluation by the hospice team.
How soon could hospice care start when a person is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness?
An individual is eligible for hospice care when his or her physician certifies that there is a diagnosis present that he or she believes will contribute to the patient’s death within six months. This life-limiting prognosis is based solely on the patient’s clinical condition. Many patients receive hospice care for a short few days or weeks—despite being entitled to the comprehensive care months earlier. If you suspect a loved one would benefit from hospice care and support, you are encouraged to request an evaluation. Admittedly, there are many who live with a serious illness each day who do not qualify for hospice care but may certainly benefit from the support of palliative care professionals.
Where does the care occur?
The overwhelming majority of care is provided in the patient’s choice of residence. This may be a private home, a nursing facility or an assisted living community. Hospice professionals and volunteers excel at care coordination and welcome the opportunity to partner with other providers to ensure comprehensive care tailored to meet the individual needs of patients and those who love them.
A small percentage of care is provided in our inpatient facility, Dove House. This care setting is reserved primarily for those individuals who are experiencing symptoms related to their illness and cannot be cared for in less specialized settings.
Who provides the care?
Hospice care is provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers who bring services to the patient and family. Physicians, registered nurses, social workers, hospice aides, chaplains and bereavement professionals work collaboratively to meet the needs and respect the preferences of the patient and family. Hospice professionals are supported by a group of volunteers who do those things that may not require a professional touch. How often a team member may visit the patient in his or her choice of residence is based on clinical findings as well as the preferences of the patient and family.
To learn more about Carroll Hospice, please call 410-871-8000. For more information about Carroll Hospital’s palliative care program, please call 410-871-7000.
While the holiday season can be a joyous time, it can also be a time of heightened emotional stress and triggers for emotional challenges related to mental health, substance use and grief. Be sure to care for yourself these next few months; that may include reaching out for support and treatment.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “one in five adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to the person directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.” Of the millions of adults in the United States with a substance abuse disorder, approximately half have a co-occurring mental illness.
If you are in need of support, a number of local and nationals resources are available to help you during the holiday season and throughout the year:
- Carroll Hospital’s Behavioral Health Services (inpatient and outpatient programs for adults and adolescents with psychiatric, emotional, behavioral and addictive disorders)
- Depression & Bipolar Support Group of Carroll County
- Alcoholics Anonymous and AlAnon/Alateen meetings
- Narcotics Anonymous meetings
- Carroll Hospice’s bereavement support groups (calendar view of groups available here)
- Maryland Crisis Hotline through Grassroots Crisis Intervention (provides support, guidance and assistance 365 days a year). Call 800-422-0009 if you are in crisis.
For additional resources and guidance, call Carroll Hospital’s Care Connect line at 410-871-7000.
Melissa Murdock, R.N., is a nurse health navigator at Carroll Hospital.
This recipe has it all! A juicy, flavorful gravy-covered burger with sweet potato wedges and tender green beans. Mushrooms are a great source of B vitamins; sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamin A and C; and green beans are a great fiber source. And best of all, it’s an entire meal ready in under 40 minutes!
Unfortunately, many comfort foods are high in fat and calories and low in vitamins. Traditional macaroni and cheese recipes often exceed 700 calories for a modest portion and more than 40 grams of fat. You can enjoy this recipe for macaroni and cheese without the guilt and with added nutrition from spinach and whole wheat macaroni!
This recipe is so simple and so good! Say goodbye to dry, boring pork chops. These pork chops are moist and full of flavor, and it’s a great recipe for those leftover apples from the fall harvest! It’s a quick skillet dish that pairs well with any green vegetable and low fat mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.
If you looking for a protein-packed, high fiber, nutrient-rich and low fat dinner option with minimal prep time, there is nothing better on a fall evening than a hearty soup! This “copycat” version of Carrabba’s minestrone soup fits the bill. It’s high in vitamins C and A. It’s also a versatile recipe that lends itself well to adding whatever vegetables you have in the fridge!