Homeland Hospice Honors Veterans


Thank you Veterans image

Last month, Homeland Hospice was awarded Partner Level Three status from the We Honor Veterans program – a program that was created by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Its objective is to increase access to and improve the quality of healthcare for all veterans. This includes from the moment they retire or are discharged through end of life.

“Homeland Hospice has been involved in the program for about five years,” stated Leanne Porterfield, Coordinator of Volunteers for Homeland Hospice. “All agencies need to apply to the “We Honor Veterans” program to be involved. You first begin as a recruit, then progress through applications and development of programs to reach levels one, two, three and finally four. We are currently working on our Level Four status and our goal is to attain it within the next six months.”

The requirements to reach each level are different, but include community presentations, connections with a regional Veteran Community Partnership and education of all staff. The requirements are designed to strengthen the relationship between the Veterans and the VA and offer education about hospice care.

In the months of April through June, Homeland Hospice served 62 Veterans. Thirty, or nearly half, of those Veterans had served in World War II. This statistic is a little unique as many other hospices across the nation are seeing a decline in World War II Veterans receiving services, as the number of patients who served in more recent wars has increased.

The We Honor Veterans program’s model of care for Veterans is to support the philosophy of quality compassionate care at end of life, while adding the extra support that Veterans need. Veterans sometimes face death differently – they’ve seen active combat, were in active combat, witnessed the death of comrades. Many Veterans were taught to “hold in” their feelings about what they experienced or ignore what they went through or what they saw, as they ‘had to get up every morning and face it again’. And they returned from this military service ready to move on with their life, often putting those war memories aside. But at end of life, they may still have a need to share those memories and release some of the associated pain. The Homeland Hospice team is trained to serve Veterans with the supportive care they need and deserve. Sometimes, it’s encouraging them and listening to them share their stories. And always, it’s remembering to say ‘thank you for serving to protect our country’s freedoms.’

Homeland Hospice also provides Pinning Ceremonies for Veterans to offer a special tribute and recognition for their courageous efforts and their selfless involvement in the military. The ceremony, performed by Veteran volunteers and Hospice staff includes sharing a certificate and an American Flag, and giving them a pin to signify the branch of service in which they served. In the months of April through June, sixteen ceremonies were completed.

Homeland Hospice believes that every Veteran – those in our service as well as those we meet in our everyday lives, deserves a heartfelt thank you – it is the least we can to for all they have done for us. For more information about We Honor Veterans, please visit their website at www.WeHonorVeterans.org.

The Best of Cumberland County


Thank you Cumberland County!

Homeland At Home Best of Cumberland County imageEach year The Sentinel asks its readers to vote for who they believe is the best of the best in the county in nearly 130 different categories.

Homeland Hospice was recently awarded first place in the Hospice Provider category for The Best of Cumberland County 2017. Homeland At Home came in second place (runner-up) for the In-home Care Provider category.

“We are sincerely honored that we were chosen as the favored provider,” stated Wendy Shumaker, Assistant Director of Marketing for Homeland Hospice, HomeHealth & HomeCare. “Our team of nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors and more are so compassionate and do an amazing job! I’ve never worked anywhere there was so much drive to provide excellent services.”

Homeland revealed that they did not tell their friends and family members to vote for them. “We did not tell anybody about our participation,” added Shumaker. “All of the votes were truly authentic.”

Home Care vs. Home Health


HomeCare vs HomeHealth blue house with a heart in the middle

For aging and homebound individuals, home is the best place to remain as functional and independent as possible, with the highest degree of security, comfort and dignity.

When individuals hear the words home care and home health, some mistakenly think the two are synonymous, however, home care and home health are distinct types of care. Home care is non-medical assistance emphasizing companionship while home health is a physician-ordered plan of care provided at home.

Homeland at Home is proud to now offer both, providing the communities we serve with a continuum of high quality care.

Let’s explore the differences further.

Home Care

Susan Minarik, RN, Executive Director of Homeland Hospice, HomeHealth & HomeCare stated, “Home care is supportive care. Caregivers provide assistance with the activities of daily living, such as preparing meals, running errands, light housekeeping, medication reminders, assisting with bathing and dressing, and providing transportation to doctor appointments. The goal is to improve our client’s quality of life while ensuring safety in the home.”

Homeland HomeCare only employs Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who are managed by licensed nurses. With bonded and vested employees, we can ensure peace of mind and quality care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued a new regulation allowing home care aides to be trained to do additional tasks in the home setting. Minarik added, “The additional tasks taken on are a decision made by each agency. Homeland HomeCare is ahead of the game. As soon as we received word about this option we started educating our CNAs to become Direct Care Workers. They are trained on a per task/per visit basis.” Some of the additional care that can be provided include pic tube care, ostomy care, and medication administration.

Home care is typically paid by the individual receiving care.

Home Health

Home health is ordered by a physician, typically after a hospital stay, an onset of a new diagnosis or an exacerbation of an existing illness. Lora Bierce RN, WCC, COS-C, Director of Homeland HomeHealth explained, “Home health care is monitored and implemented by a team of medical professionals including nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, social workers and CNAs. Services are normally covered by Medicare or the individual’s private insurance.”

Homeland HomeHealth’s staff has expertise in wound care, cardiac care, fall prevention and rehabilitation services.

Bierce added, “Home health is a multi-disciplinary plan of care. Each patient is different and receives a specialized plan of care that fits their needs.”

Two home health programs will be added to Homeland at Home by the end of summer – palliative care and telehealth.

“Palliative care is a specialized medical treatment for individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious illness. We will have dedicated staff members cross-trained in both palliative and hospice care. So, if the need to transition patients to hospice arises, the patient will be able to have the same caregivers they’ve already come to know and trust,” remarked Bierce.

In addition, Homeland HomeHealth will be the first agency in the region to offer state-of-the-art telehealth monitors to its patients. Bierce added, “We are excited as this new service has the ability to reduce re-hospitalization by more than 20%.”

The Homeland Difference

In an age when for-profit senior care chains dominate the market, Homeland – a 501(c) non-profit organization – remains steadfast with a keen focus on our local communities while delivering a compassionate, comprehensive array of professional services throughout the region.