Top level Menu

Archive | February, 2016

Veteran Care at End-of-Life is Focus of Educational Symposium

Care for Veterans at the end-of-life is the focus of a day long symposium for professional caregivers presented by Ohio’s Hospice.

Call of Duty: Compassionate Care for Our Veterans at the End-of-Life offers continuing education credits for nurses, social workers and nursing home administrators. The program includes presentations on communications, pain management, ethics, symptom management, Veteran’s benefits, trauma sensitive yoga and care during final hours.

The symposium is scheduled to take place Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. A $75 fee includes 6.0 Continuing Education Credits, educational materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and beverages throughout the day. The program will be held at the Hope Hotel & Richard C. Holbrooke Conference Center in Dayton.

Advance registration is required.

How Hospice Helps Heart Patients

People may be surprised to learn that 28% of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton’s patient population has a diagnosis of cardiac disease. The most recent American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association heart failure guidelines now recommends palliative/hospice care referral for end-stage heart failure.

Patients with heart disease can experience ups and downs over a long course of the disease. The following signs may indicate that hospice care could help.
o Increasing frequency of hospitalizations for worsening symptoms
o Increasing fatigue and shortness of breath with minimal activity or at rest, despite medication
o Surgery or use of device therapy is no longer an option or is not desired
o Increasing dependence on oxygen therapy or need for increased flow

By working with the patient’s cardiologist, hospice and palliative care specialists have the tools and resources to relieve symptoms, improve patient satisfaction, and decrease the cost of care for patients. Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton collaborates with cardiologists in the region to use proactive interventions to monitor patient symptoms and quickly address issues as they develop and change.

Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton offers support to address a wide range of symptoms.

  • Respiratory therapy to manage shortness of breath
  • Medications and therapies to ease pain and hypertension
  • Medical equipment and therapies to counteract weakness and fatigue

Our nurses use telecommunication and information technologies to keep track of weight, respiratory status, emotional status and tolerance for activities. Close monitoring of patient condition and immediate attention to changes in condition help to prevent emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

The hospice team, family caregiver and patient together create an action plan that includes:

• Self-care strategies for patient
• Symptom recognition
• Medication education
• Recognition of caregiver needs

Patient caregivers play a vital role with cardiac patients, providing physical and emotional comfort and support, searching out resources, scheduling appointments and helping to manage symptoms. Our hospice nurses work closely with caregivers so they gain an understanding of the illness and develop skills to respond to changes in patient condition. Caregiver preparedness increases confidence and is a major factor in easing caregiver stress. Hospice care can also provide respite support so that caregivers can be relieved of what can sometimes seem like an overwhelming burden. This proactive approach assures a better quality of life for both the patient and the caregiver.

Information for caregivers or heart patients about hospice services is available by calling 937-256-4490.

World Cancer Day is Feb. 4, 2016

For many, hospice is closely tied to cancer. It is true that cancer patients were among the first to benefit from hospice care. While hospice now serves patients with a wide variety of diagnoses, cancer patients continue to be among those who turn to hospice for help as their disease advances. At Ohio’s Hospice, 34 percent of our patients have been diagnosed with cancer. Hospice offers cancer patients improved quality of life and families support as loved ones decline.

When should hospice care be considered?

The following changes may indicate hospice could benefit the patient and family:

  • The patient is becoming weaker and the disease is progressing
  • Treatment is no longer effective
  • The burden of treatment is becoming overwhelming for the patient

Our staff of specialists

  • Keep patients comfortable with proactive pain and symptom management
  • Help assure smooth transitions when patient condition is changing and different services and levels of care are needed
  • Provide emotional and spiritual support

Maintain close monitoring of symptoms to respond quickly when changes in condition occur

For patient families, Hospice of Dayton

  • Provides caregiver education and training
  • A nurse consultant on call 24/7
  • Help and guidance with resources and support
  • Respite care when caregivers need a break
  • Emotional and spiritual support
  • Bereavement services and support

On World Cancer Day we encourage everyone to learn about cancer prevention. Visit this site to test your knowledge and learn more about 50% of cancers can be prevented.


Dr. BharwaniAccording to, nearly 44 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia as of 2015. Many families try to care for their loved ones at home. Unfortunately, most caregivers lack the knowledge of how to help the patients and cope with this disease. An upcoming series of monthly educational sessions will focus on practical techniques for home caregivers to improve the quality of life for people with dementia (PWD) as well as reduce stress on the caregivers.

The sessions will take place at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and will be presented by Dr. Govind Bharwani, a nationally recognized expert in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. He has received six national awards and his therapy program is used in nursing homes throughout the nation. It has helped reduce the use of medications for behavior management. Dr. Bharwani is the Co-Director of Ergonomics and Alzheimer’s Care at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. The program is sponsored by Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, Wright State University, and the Greater Dayton Brain Health Foundation. These educational sessions are offered at no cost to caregivers and there is no professional credit given to attend the program.

“One of the major challenges for home caregivers is to deal with the behavior problems of PWD” says Dr. Bharwani. He has successfully applied the science of cognitive ergonomics and neuroscience research to improve the quality of life for PWD in long-term care facilities nationwide. He also developed an innovative program for Alzheimer’s / dementia care which has received six national awards. The program is called Behavior-Based Ergonomics Therapy (BBET) program. Dr. Bharwani received the 2012 Leaders of Tomorrow Award from Long-Term Living magazine and the 2014 Public Service Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA).

In these educational sessions, the success of BBET in nursing homes are shared with caregivers so that they can apply these techniques during the care of their loved ones at home. BBET uses the combination of music, video and stimulating therapies to reduce the mental stress on PWD. The therapies utilize the neuroscience approach and are customized based on the individual’s life story and cognitive level.

This is the second year that this series will be offered to home caregivers. In the new cycle, Dr. Bharwani will also discuss various types of dementias such as Lewy body dementia, frontal lobe dementia, Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia, etc. This will help the caregivers to understand how to care for their loved ones who have these kinds of dementias. In addition, Dr. Bharwani will also discuss the causes of behaviors by PWD such as wandering, combativeness, shadowing, sundowning, etc. This will complement the material covered in the first cycle.

Attendees receive practical information on Alzheimer’s and dementia and how caregivers can use the knowledge and techniques to help reduce the problems they face while caring for PWD. Tami Ashmore attended a previous session and found the course very helpful in her interactions with an Alzheimer’s patient. “Now I more clearly understand the changes I’ve seen over the past four or five years,” Ashmore says. “I have used many of the techniques suggested and found them very effective. Interactions are much more positive. There are fewer outbursts.” Ashmore also expressed surprise that the program is offered at no cost, thanks to the grant from the Greater Dayton Brain Health Foundation.

Beverly Louis registered for classes to better understand what her sister was experiencing as a dementia sufferer. “The classes were very helpful, especially in offering concrete suggestions on steps you can take to improve communication. I discovered that topics would arise in class that would parallel what was happening with my sister. I was learning as things were happening with her situation. I gained a lot.”

A new series of sessions is scheduled to begin on March 29th with monthly presentations focused on specific topics which are listed on the registration site located at For additional information, please contact Kathy Emerson at 937-256-9507, ext. 2237.