When you hear the name Gilchrist, you might immediately think of hospice. But one of the most helpful services Gilchrist offers is pre-hospice medical care for seniors with serious illness. Gilchrist Elder Medical Care is a much-needed service for those who have difficulty traveling to doctors’ appointments and for whom treatment is becoming less effective.
Medical Care at Home
With Elder Medical Care, a team of medical professionals provides comprehensive, coordinated medical care for the patient in their home or residential care community. This care is overseen by a physician, with regular visits by a nurse practitioner.
We often find that, prior to coming to Gilchrist, these individuals have no choice but to go to the emergency room for health crises. This is not only expensive, but it leaves seniors without anyone managing their symptoms between visits or overseeing their overall care. Being shuffled from the hospital to the home and back again can be frightening and disconcerting for both patients and their family members.
Our nurse practitioners provide consistent, personalized medical care that prevents unnecessary hospital visits and ensures that patients receive the care and attention they need when and where they need it. This care allows patients to stay in their homes, rather than moving to a long-term care facility, if that is their preference. Nurse practitioners also educate patients about their illness, so they know what to expect as the illness progresses.
24/7 Nurse Helpline
One of the things our patients appreciate most is being able to call a nurse any time, day or night, either to ask questions or to talk about a medical concern. Our trained triage nurses will answer questions, send out the nurse practitioner to the patient’s home or arrange emergency medical care, depending on the situation. Knowing they have someone to call at all times is so reassuring to our patients.
Emotional Support and Guidance
In addition to medical care, we also offer visits from a social worker to provide emotional support, guidance on advance care planning, and help connecting the patient with helpful community resources. The social worker can also help patients navigate the complex and often-daunting health care system.
Patients may also benefit from visits by Gilchrist volunteers, who provide companionship, respite for caregivers and assistance with errands.
No Gaps in Care
There is no limit to how long Elder Medical Care can be provided. If and when the patient needs hospice care, they can be quickly and seamlessly transitioned, with their medical history and care preferences communicated to the hospice care team.
Sometimes people come to Elder Medical Care after “graduating” from hospice, meaning that their symptoms have improved to the point that hospice care is no longer needed. In either case, Gilchrist provides a safety net so that the medical care and support these individuals have come to rely on can continue. Our goal is to make sure no one falls through the cracks of the health care system.
To find out if Elder Medical Care is right for you or a loved one, call our care navigators at 1.888.823.8880 or visit our website at https://www.gilchristcares.org/elder-medical-care/