What is Advanced Illness?

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Advanced Illness occurs when one or more conditions become serious enough that general health declines, and treatments begin to lose their impact.  A process that continues to the end of life.

About Us

WV Caring, a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization, is dedicated to serving individuals and their families transitioning through life-limiting illness with palliative and hospice care while providing outreach, education and expertise in grief support to the entire community.

WV Caring fills unmet patient care needs by taking on complicated diagnoses, making sure hospice pediatric care is available to our communities, and more that is not provided by other end-of-life care providers.

WV Caring serves 12 counties in West Virginia since 1983. It is owned by the communities it serves in North Central West Virginia. In fact, WV Caring is one of a few not for profit, stand-alone advanced illness care providers serving this area.

The Concept

WV Caring provides advanced illness care to support individuals and their families through transitioning through serious progressive conditions that limit daily activities. It is designed to ensure that the right care is provided at the right time and place. And, to empower patients and their families to get the care that they want, honors their dignity, and to avoid unproductive medical interventions. WV Caring’s advanced illness care is designed to help persons to live more comfortably and fully as possible.

Our Goal

  • To relieve pain, fear and loneliness. Our focus remains on the living that is taking place and to view the family as the whole unit of care.
  • We want our patients to “embrace life.” We do this by providing a seamless complete program of care, which includes: management of pain, physical support, spiritual support, psychological support and social support.

How Can We Help?

Hospice Care: Care designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. The goal is to enable patients to be comfortable and free of pain, so that they live each day as fully as possible. Aggressive methods of pain control may be used. Hospice programs generally are home-based, but they sometimes provide services away from home — in freestanding facilities, in nursing homes, or within hospitals. The philosophy of hospice is to provide support for the patient’s emotional, social, and spiritual needs as well as medical symptoms as part of treating the whole person.

Hospice programs generally use a multidisciplinary team approach, including the services of a nurse, doctor, social worker and clergy in providing care. Additional services provided include drugs to control pain and manage other symptoms; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; medical supplies and equipment; medical social services; dietary and other counseling; continuous home care at times of crisis; and bereavement services. Although hospice care does not aim for cure of the terminal illness, it does treat potentially curable conditions such as pneumonia and bladder infections, with brief hospital stays if necessary. Hospice programs also offer respite care workers, people who are usually trained volunteers, who take over the patient’s care so that the family or other primary caregivers can leave the house for a few hours. Volunteer care is part of hospice philosophy.

The word “hospice” comes from the Latin “hospitium” meaning guesthouse. It was originally described a place of shelter for weary and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages. During the 1960’s, Dr. Cicely Saunders began the modern hospice movement by establishing St. Christopher’s Hospice near London. St. Christopher’s organized a team approach to professional caregiving, and was the first program to use modern pain management techniques to compassionately care for the dying. The first hospice in the United States was established in New Haven, Connecticut in 1974. Today more than 4,800 hospice programs across the country offer comprehensive hospice care. Most insurance plans in the US include hospice as a covered benefit.

– Source: MedicineNet