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Welcome to All County Home Care & Hospice's blog.

Coping with Depression: Signs You Might be in Trouble

When caregivers take on the responsibility of caring for a loved one, we expect our lives to change. What is unexpected, and often goes unnoticed, is the forfeiting of our own well-being in order to become a primary caregiver.

Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer, “Yes,” to any of them, you need assistance. Support groups, your loved one’s social worker, your physician, counseling or therapeutic centers and a number of other community resources can help you in providing greater balance between your caregiving responsibilities and your well-being.

Have you stopped communicating with friends you had before you became a caregiver?

Do you lack time to participate in activities that make you feel good?

Is your caregiving role negatively affecting your personal relationships?

Have you failed to have a check-up lately or find you do not follow the doctor’s recommendation for you own health?

Does your loved one need, but not have, a monitoring device?

Has your loved one become abusive towards you?

Have you noticed you are becoming verbally, physically or emotionally abusive to your loved one?

Are you drinking or taking drugs to cope with stress or distress?

Has your sleeping pattern changed since becoming a caregiver?

Do you feel you are not getting enough sleep?

Do you refuse to let others assist you, or give your respite, for fear something will happen if you leave you loved one in another’s care?


Alternatives sought for Hospice patients

Mary Pitzer looks pale and thin in her bed in Martinez, but her face brightens as she talks about her family and the
home where she has lived for 21 years and where she still keeps bedrooms upstairs for her grown sons.
“It was just like the mountains when I moved here,” she said, gesturing toward her tree-lined subdivision.
Pitzer reflects part of a trend. After she ended the chemotherapy that wasn’t helping her advanced leukemia, she left
the hospital and enlisted the care of University Hospice.



A Good Death: How Boomers Will Change the World a Final Time

I found this article the other day and thought that it was quite interesting.

Surely the world has heard enough of the Baby Boomers, who have dominated the political, cultural and economic landscape for six decades. But a generation that has refused to go quietly into any life stage will, it seems, be heard from one final time on the biggest issue of them all: how to die.

Read more: http://business.time.com/2013/08/14/a-good-death-how-boomers-will-change-the-world-a-final-time/#ixzz2cd4pdArY



We hope that you’ll join us as we celebrate our 5th anniversary, and our new offices!

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Hospice Care – Be your own advocate

Hospice Care – Be your own advocate

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that the number of patients receiving hospice care has been increasing over the past 12 years.  However, it appears that hospice is often a last resort, with as many as 28% of hospice admissions lasting three days or less.

A possible explanation for this high percentage is that patients and their families simply aren’t having discussions with their care providers about their prognoses and what is important to them in the end of life.  Since physicians are not reimbursed by Medicare to have these conversations with their patients, it becomes the patient’s responsibility to be an advocate for the care and treatment he or she wants to receive.

The best way for patients to be their own advocates is to be educated and informed of the options available to them.


All County Home Care and Hospice wishes all nurses a Happy Nurses week!

All County Home Care and Hospice wishes all nurses a Happy Nurses week!

National Nurses Week History


National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week (May 6-12) each year.

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896. Each of ANA’s state and territorial nurses associations promotes the nursing profession at the state and regional levels. Each conducts celebrations on these dates to recognize the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.

The ANA supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through the state and district nurses associations, other specialty nursing organizations, educational facilities, and independent health care companies and institutions.

A Brief History of National Nurses Week

1953 Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made.

1954 National Nurse Week was observed from October 11 – 16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Representative Frances P. Bolton sponsored the bill for a nurse week. Apparently, a bill for a National Nurse Week was introduced in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Congress discontinued its practice of joint resolutions for national weeks of various kinds.

1972 Again a resolution was presented by the House of Representatives for the President to proclaim “National Registered Nurse Day.” It did not occur.

1974 In January of that year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed that May 12 would be “International Nurse Day.” (May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.) Since 1965, the ICN has celebrated “International Nurse Day.”

1974 In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.

1978 New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6 as “Nurses Day.” Edward Scanlan, of Red Bank, N.J., took up the cause to perpetuate the recognition of nurses in his state. Mr. Scanlan had this date listed in Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events. He promoted the celebration on his own.

1981 ANA, along with various nursing organizations, rallied to support a resolution initiated by nurses in New Mexico, through their Congressman, Manuel Lujan, to have May 6, 1982, established as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as “National Nurses Day.” The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.

1990 The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 – 12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.

1993 The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.

1996 The ANA initiated “National RN Recognition Day” on May 6, 1996, to honor the nation’s indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year. The ANA encourages its state and territorial nurses associations and other organizations to acknowledge May 6, 1996 as “National RN Recognition Day.”

1997 The ANA Board of Directors, at the request of the National Student Nurses Association, designated May 8 as National Student Nurses Day.


The Importance of Advance Care Planning

The Importance of Advance Care Planning


42-30895297Did you know that in a past study conducted by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, less than 50% of terminally ill patients had and advance directive in their medical records?

Today, April 16th, has been designated as National Healthcare Decisions Day.  All adults can benefit from discussing and identifying the healthcare choices they want made should they be unable to do so on their own. Most can utilize an advanced directive so that loved ones as well as medical professionals are aware of their desires.

There are two types of Advance Directives: a living will and medical power of attorney.

Living Will

A living will is a legal document that allows someone to control his/her wishes for medical treatment at the end of life. It covers health care decisions when they are terminally ill or permanently unconscious and unable to make decisions on their own. State laws vary on the exact terms of a living will, but they are generally designed to allow doctors to stop the process of prolonging life.

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney legally allows a person to name someone else who is designated to make decisions about their medical care should they become temporarily or permanently unable to express those wishes on their own. Many people may have both a living will and a medical power of attorney directive. The medical power of attorney is able to make decisions that were not addressed in the living will.

Talking about advance directives is an important part of the caregiving process, particularly in hospice care. Educating your patients about their desires can help to empower them about their health care choices. The internet has a number of fantastic resources available to families and caregivers who are interested in learning more about advance directives as well as communicating end-of-life wishes including:

The Conversation Project
Dedicated to aiding families in discussing their wishes for end-of-life care and treatment.

Caring Connections from NHPCO
From the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, provides free advance directives and instructions for each state

End-of-life planning guidance and advice for families


All County Home Care and Hospice Named as a Top Agency of the 2012 HomeCare Elite

We couldn’t be more proud!  The complete press release below:


Boerne Texas., November 1, 2012 — All County Home Care and Hospice today announced that it has been named a Top Agency of the 2012 HomeCare Elite™, a compilation of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Now in its seventh year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and further highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall. Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, process measure implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS), quality improvement, and financial performance.