Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services partners with physicians, churches and local community groups to provide compassionate care for people in their homes, in the hospital and in other living facilities.
Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services offers hospice, palliative and grief care. When active treatment is no longer the focus of care for an illness, hospice care concentrates on relieving symptoms and supporting patients and their families. Hospice patients generally have a life expectancy measured in months rather than years. Although hospice cannot add days to a person's life, it most certainly can add life to their days.
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Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services provides care to people at home, in a nursing home, in the hospital or at Aspirus Hospice House. Our staff members help families and friends enhance life for a loved one who is terminally ill through companionship, comfort, pain management and grief support. Every patient is individually assessed to determine options for appropriate treatment and is supported in selecting their care.
Click below for more information on each type of service:
When active treatment is no longer the focus of care for an illness, hospice care concentrates on relieving symptoms and supporting patients and their families. Hospice patients generally have a life expectancy measured in months rather than years. Although hospice cannot add days to a person's life, it most certainly can add life to their days.
Palliative care is available any time during a person’s serious illness – much earlier than hospice. The goals of palliative care are to improve the quality of life for a seriously ill person and to offer caring support to them and their family both during and after treatment.
We believe it is very important to provide home services where people are in familiar surroundings and close to their family. Although most people are able to live in their private home, some people choose other options for home including Hospice House, nursing home or residential facilities. Routine home care is provided when symptom control and pain management can be achieved through periodic, scheduled visits. The specific services are based on identified needs and are designed to support the patient and family and to prevent crisis situations as much as possible.
Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services provides care in hospital settings. Inpatient acute care is provided to meet physical and/or medical needs which cannot be met at home. The purposes of inpatient care are to achieve management of acute symptoms, to teach the patient and family how to manage symptoms, and to transfer to a home setting.
Inpatient Respite Care is provided by Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for up to five days at a time on an occasional basis. Respite care is designed to provide the primary caregiver and family rest or time away. All necessary hospice services are part of the service and staff will help to coordinate arrangements. For patients who choose home-based respite care, volunteers for Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services help care for loved ones.
The goal of spiritual care for Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services is to meet the needs of patients and families. We find that there are common spiritual needs identified by many terminally ill patients: the need to reflect on the meaning of life, the need to tell one's life story, the need for belonging and community, and the need for hope. We are committed to being nondenominational in the care that we provide. Our goal is to partner with a patients' choice of spiritual support and offer additional support as needed.
Every Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services patient has a social worker that is assigned to work directly with them and their family members based on the plan of care. The Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services social worker ensures that the plan of care is designed to meet the psychosocial needs of the patient and family. Social work services include assistance with: personal concerns, preparation of advance directives, financial concerns, and accessing other community services.
Bereavement care is offered to the patient and family members. Grief support services include support in dealing with loss and grief, counseling and referral to other community services. Family members may be referred to and/or select bereavement support from other community agencies.
Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services also offers select bereavement services to the general community. These services focus on normal grief reactions and are not designed to meet the individual needs of a specific bereaved person.
Some community grief support programs include:
These Complementary Therapies are offered by Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services:
Therapeutic massage is offered to support the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and is a tool for pain relief and symptom management. Massage has been shown to reduce pain, decrease stress and anxiety, heighten peacefulness, and restore emotional balance and overall physical comfort.
Music Therapy uses sounds and music to support and encourage physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional well-being. Music can help to ease pain, decrease anxiety and stress, increase relaxation, enhance memory, promote communication, express feelings and increase quality of life.
Therapy dogs may visit people at Hospice House and Aspirus Wausau Hospital. These dogs provide comfort, love and companionship and enrich the quality of life for hospice patients and often family members as well. The sight of therapy dogs and the touch of their fur often brings peace and joy to people whose life once included animals. Physical contact has a calming effect and dogs have the ability to bring back pleasant memories of a person's life.
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Aspirus Hospice House is a place of comfort and companionship for patients with end-stage illnesses who choose an alternative to home. It offers a compassionate and safe environment in a home-like setting.
Hospice House is a 7,100 square-foot home set on 1.8 acres located at 530 N. 32nd Avenue in Wausau. Eight private bedrooms, each of which is warmly decorated, overlook restful mountain or wooded areas. Each spacious bedroom is completely furnished and includes private bath, telephone, television and VCR, and space for guests. Patients and their family have access to a homey kitchen, gracious dining room, sunny great room, private sitting room and covered porches.
Hospice House is staffed 24 hours a day by Certified Nursing Assistants or Licensed Practical Nurses. All needed services, including nursing, social work, counseling, medication and supplies continue to be provided, as they would in the patient's own home. Patients continue to have access to inpatient care, if needed.
Patients must qualify for Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services and choose to live in Hospice House. Our staff works together with the patient, and the patient's family and physician to determine if Hospice House is an appropriate alternative to the patient's home.
The services that are routinely paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance for hospice home care also apply toward Hospice House care. This usually includes charges for nurses, social workers and chaplains, and the cost of equipment and appropriate prescription medications.
The patient generally pays for the room and board expenses. Some private insurance plans may contribute to the daily room and board charge. The Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services staff members work closely with the patient and their family to clarify insurance coverage and to discuss any financial concerns. Through community funding, there are two rooms available at Hospice House for patients with identified financial need. For more information about qualifications, please call 715-847-2424.
The focus of our care is not only the patient, but also the patient's family. The State of Wisconsin defines family as a "patient's spouse, brother, sister, child, parent, or an individual with significant personal ties to the hospice patient who has been designated a family member by mutual agreement between the individual and the patient."
Click below for more information on our team of health care professionals:
Assesses the patient's and family's needs; performs skilled nursing procedures; teaches family members and other caregivers the skills needed for relieving pain and other symptoms; coordinates the provision of medical equipment, supplies and medications; communicates with the attending physician; and, responds to patient and family emergencies. Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services provides registered nurse services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through an on-call system. Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services registered nurse visits are made on a routine basis based on the plan of care.
Every patient has a social worker that is assigned to work directly with them and their family members. Social work services are designed to meet the psychosocial needs of the patient and family. Social work services include assistance with advance directives, personal concerns, financial concerns, and accessing other community services.
Spiritual support services are available to patients and family. Based on the patient's input, chaplains work with the patient's identified faith community and/or provide direct individual spiritual support.
Certified nursing assistants (CNA) help the patient in activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and skin care.
The patient's attending physician continues to provide the physician orders for the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services' patient. The attending physician is any physician of medicine whom the patient designates as primarily responsible for their Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services care.
The consulting physician is any physician who provides on-call coverage for the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services patient's attending physician when the attending physician is not available and/or a physician specialist who is called in by the patient's attending physician or Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services Medical Director.
Therapy services such as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and/or respiratory therapy are provided as indicated based on the plan of care.
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch. While massage cannot cure someone who is terminally ill, it may offer much needed relief from symptoms and enhance the quality of life. Touch is nurturing, calming and soothing.
Music therapy helps to meet people's physical, emotional and social needs. The Music Therapist not only performs music, but is also trained in counseling. As part of the interdisciplinary care team, the music therapist works with patients to use music activities and experiences to help meet patient needs.
Dietitian services are provided based on the plan of care. Dietary counseling focuses on assisting the patient and family to understand the impact of the patient's condition on nutrition and to the promotion of comfortable eating and drinking.
Ensures that the grief and loss issues and concerns that are identified by the interdisciplinary team for the patient and family are met either directly by Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services staff, volunteers, and/or through referral for additional support. The Bereavement Coordinator works directly with bereavement volunteers who provide follow-up grief support to the patient's family.
The care coordinators oversee the services provided by the interdisciplinary group. The care coordinators are available to assist the patient and family if there are any issues regarding continuity or quality of care being provided.
The Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services Medical Director works with the patient's attending physician to ensure that quality medical care is provided. The Medical Director is available for consultation, provides medical guidance to the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services interdisciplinary team, works in consultation with the patient's attending physician and may participate in providing direct patient and family care.
Supports the functioning of the interdisciplinary team. Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services patients and families may interact with clerical staff through telephone inquiries. The clerical staff is available to the patient and family to answer any questions and/or concerns regarding bills and/or medical records.
Is responsible for working with the patient and family to ensure that volunteers are provided based on the plan of care.
Work under the supervision of the registered nurse and the volunteer coordinator to assist patients and families with day-to-day tasks, providing relief to caregivers and offering emotional support.
Bereavement volunteers support family members in the first year after a patient's death.
Friends of Hospice are volunteers who offer their talents in a wide variety of ways such as clerical, public relations, music, fundraising, gardening, cooking and other.
Volunteers are key members of the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services team. Each person works directly with our volunteer coordinator to determine what volunteer position best suits him or her. There are three main categories of volunteer opportunities: Patient/Family, Bereavement and Friends of Hospice.
To become an Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services volunteer or for information, call our volunteer coordinator directly at 715-847-2705 or toll free at 866-331-2467, or visit our volunteer webpage for more information and to download an application.
The holidays are a special time to celebrate the lives of people we love – people who are living and those who have died. You are invited to celebrate the loved ones in your life by participating in the Tree of Love tribute program.
You can start a Tree of Love holiday tradition by purchasing a personalized 2-inch polished brass holiday ornament engraved with the name of someone you love. Your ornaments will be mailed to you the second week of December – in time for holiday celebrations.
To publicly honor your loved one, the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services holiday tree, located in the lobby of Aspirus Wausau Hospital during the holidays, will display your ornaments from the second week of November through the first week in December.
You can purchase one, or several Tree of Love ornaments. Each ornament is only $10, and orders must be placed by December 1.
Tree of Love is not a fundraising activity, but gifts to the Grief Center are welcome, and can be made when purchasing your ornament(s).
Gifts to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services help people in our region by supporting our mission to ensure meaningful and compassionate comfort and end-of-life care.
As a donor, you are an important part of our mission, and the following options for giving offer you the broadest framework for charitable giving in the present and the future:
Your monetary gifts are appreciated and may be made online, by phone, or by mail using the enclosed gift envelope.
•Aspirus Hero Program
Special gifts to hospice may also recognize an outstanding care provider through the Aspirus Hero program.
•Memorial & Honorary Gifts
A donation to hospice is a thoughtful way to express your sympathy for the loss of a loved one or to honor someone special in your life.
--Hospice House Memorial Tiles with gifts of $1,000 for special engraved tiles
--Respite Garden Memorial Pathway with gifts of $250 for special engraved bricks
•Legacy Society Gifts
How do you want others to benefit from the assets you will transfer and the goals you hope they will achieve? Establishing an estate plan and reviewing it every few years is necessary to provide for your family’s future. An estate plan with gifts to charitable organizations, like Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, may reduce tax liabilities, provide greater resources for your loved ones, and support causes that have been important to you throughout your life.