At The Arbor Company, we recognize the importance that peace of mind has on our emotional and physical well-being, especially in our older years. That’s why we are delighted to partner with compassionate organizations like Willow Tree Hospice, who go above and beyond to ensure seniors and their families have everything they need to navigate life’s biggest challenges.

You can learn more about this incredible partnership in our latest video, where our Vice President of Marketing & Digital Strategy, Mary Cate Spires and Willow Tree Hospice liaison, Leslie Wild, discussed the many ways in which her team provides support for those in need of advanced care.

From providing a wealth of physical and emotional assistance to ensuring every critical need is met, seniors and their loved ones are able to rest assured that comfort, compassionate service and endless support is always nearby thanks to Leslie and her team at Willow Tree Hospice.

To learn more about our hospice and assisted care services, feel free to contact our dedicated team with any questions (404) 237-4026.

Video Transcript

Hi everyone and welcome to Senior Living LIVE! My name is Mary Cate Spires, and I am here at Arbor Terrace Exton, and we are so lucky to be joined by Ms. Leslie Wild from Willow Tree Hospice. Thank you so much for sitting down with us.

Well, thank you for having me.

So can you just start by introducing yourself and kind of what you do here?

Absolutely. So, I am a liaison with Willow Tree Hospice and we are an Amedisys company. So what we do is we provide hospice services to the residents here at Arbor Terrace, those that are eligible, of course. And our goal is to help enhance the quality of life for these residents and to help them age in place here in their home.

So help educate me and our listeners, watchers, on what is hospice care?

Hospice is, the word should be synonymous with support because we are a specialty, and what we do is we support people at a very critical time of life. Typically, they're gonna have a terminal prognosis of six months or less. And a lot of times our patients have either decided to forego aggressive treatment or perhaps aggressive treatment isn't an option for them. Or maybe any treatment options offer more of a burden than a benefit to them. So for those whose goals are aligned with comfort, and quality of life, and trying to make the most of every day right up until the end, we're a great support. And the way we do that is not just through clinical interventions, but we are also trying to treat total pain or the concept of total pain. So we're also offering like emotional support, spiritual support, psych social support, to these residents to enhance the end of life. What's interesting about hospice is we are as much a support to families as we are to our patients and we're supporting via education, volunteer programs, and in our case also with music therapy.

Oh, wow. Yeah. So talk to me a little bit about the process. Someone decides they are in need of hospice care. What happens?

So most of the time, after a conversation with a physician or sometimes, like in a senior living community, it could be the wellness director educating a little bit about what hospice is and making the resident understand it's an option for them. We might get a phone call to come in and talk to the family and educate them a little bit about our services and what that means, just to be sure that it is in line with their goals and then we will get a physician's order to start hospice services, as well as collect some medical records, in order to determine eligiblility. For us, we're able to often do that same day and get the process started. And if that resident meets eligibility requirements. We bring them right on to service to start supporting them right away.

And of course, you're a partner of Arbor Terrace Exton, where we are right now. How does your services look different compared to being in a senior living community versus maybe being at home.

Oh, that is a really great question. You know, my background before I started working in Hospice five years ago was senior living, and that's where I became an advocate for hospice because I got to know our residents very well, I got to know the families very well. And so, you know, if our residents were in crisis and I was visiting them at the hospital or in a rehab facility, oftentimes they would say like, Leslie, get me out of here, or this isn't what I want, I don't really want to be doing this therapy. And I would see that their goals were more in line with comfort or hospice and enhanced quality of life. So for me, it was important to educate the families and residents about hospice so that they could age in place in the community where they wanted to be, which was their home. And I support that one hundred percent.

What's nice about patients who choose to live in a senior living community is that they have this twenty four hour support that's already built in and so that we can come in as an additional support and partner with the team in place here in order to make the easiest transition possible. Family is allowed to be family and not caregivers, and they can enjoy that time with their loved ones. And I think that's the big difference because for our home patients, hospice is still an excellent support, but we often have to try to bring in some other resources as well to help support the family caregivers.

Absolutely. Let's talk a little bit about family and caregivers. What advice would you give to a family member who might be, you know, going through this period of life?

I would say to caregivers going through this to learn more about hospice, sometimes you have to block out the noise. You hear, you know, a lot of feedback from friends or family like, oh hospice, that's a scary word. There's a lot of misconceptions out there about what hospice actually is. And I think most valuable is to talk to friends who have been through it and learn what their challenges were. Maybe what providers they used and how that benefited them.

Do you have any myths that you wanna bust for us right now about hospice?

Yes. I really do. And this is one that's been keeping me up at night lately. Sometimes there's a misconception that hospice actually hastens the dying process and that isn't true. Our goal is to meet the patient where they are and help to support the natural process and by doing so enhance their current quality of life. So I think sometimes when people say, you know, hospice, we didn't think it was time yet or I don't want to give up. And it's not that you're giving up. It's what you hope for changes with a realistic sense of your prognosis.

So that would be something that I would want people to understand because nine times out of ten, when you ask people about hospice services after they've been on a little while, they'll say we wish we chose hospice sooner. So I think sometimes because it's a scary word that people hold back a little bit on deciding to move forward with a hospice evaluation, when in fact it can just offer so much support to them.

Wow. Yes. I'm glad you I'm glad you busted that myth for us. Do you have, can you think of, and not to put you on the spot. But really just any any education or resources that families or even, you know, the person themselves could fine to learn more about hospice and, you know, what all this entails?

Absolutely. Well, for our parent company, Amedisys has an excellent website with a lot of information on there about eligibility and what the different support looks like. So I would definitely recommend that. also does have a lot of great information. And your family physician can be a good resource as well.

Fantastic.Thank you so much, Leslie, for joining us. This was such an insightful conversation. I know you're extremely busy, so thank you for taking the time.

You're very welcome.

Alright, everyone. That's it for now. If you would like to learn more about senior living or other topics like this, you can go and visit Bye everyone.

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