July 2016


When is a Patient with Heart Failure Ready for Hospice?


Determining when a patient with heart failure is ready for referral to hospice can be challenging. The trajectory of heart failure is different than that of many diseases, like cancer. While cancer progresses in a linear fashion with a predictable decline, heart failure is characterized by episodic exacerbations punctuated by periods of stability. This relative unpredictability, combined with moments of perceived improvement, makes deciding the time to initiate hospice care challenging. Adding to the challenge is the fact that patients can die from progressive pump failure or sudden death. Current therapies are meant to prevent both while addressing symptoms and co-morbidities of heart failure.


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July 26 2016


Comprehensive Advance Care Planning


Although completion of a living will, and in some states, a POLST (physician order for life-sustaining treatment), are quality markers for hospitals, insurers, and other healthcare organizations, form completion seldom signifies effective communication. Effective advance care planning (ACP) requires the practitioner to understand medical conditions, identify physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs, estimate life expectancy, and elicit values. This process is more likely than a form alone to align medical goals and treatment burden with patient needs.
 
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July 22 2016


Blue Streak Ensemble to Perform at David Simpson Hospice House


The Blue Streak Ensemble, a group of vibrant, young musicians that include members of the Cleveland Orchestra, will perform at the David Simpson Hospice House Aug. 8 at 2 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.


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July 15 2016


Moments to Remember: Monsters Win it for Phil


For someone who never wore a beard in his life, Phil Simon decided to grow a beard during his last weeks of living. In the world of hockey, bearded athletes mean they earned the status of playing in the finals. 

For Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters, the lucky playoff beards inspired just the right kind of synergy needed to win this year's Calder Cup. The inspiration came from Phil Simon, the equipment manager for the Lake Erie Monsters who in his last weeks of life joined the team in sporting a playoff beard.


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July 12 2016

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