Frequently Asked Questions
- What are Palliative Care, Hospice and Comfort Care?
Palliative care can be appropriate at any stage of an illness. It is a holistic approach to health care that goes beyond the physical wellbeing of the resident, attending to their spiritual, emotional and psychological needs. Hospice care is a specialized form of palliative care designed to support those in the final stages of a terminal illness. Comfort Care is available during the last 90 days of someone’s life with the resident and family agreeing there will be no heroic measures taken to prolong life.
- How is Gateway Home Funded?
Our services are provided free-of-charge to our home’s residents. We are an independent, not-for-profit organization and money to run Gateway Home is generated entirely through community support, donations and grants. Our annual operating expenses must be covered by monies received from memorials, honorary donations, bequests, donations from people, corporations, service organizations, plus grants and fund-raising events.
- Do you receive help from the government?
We do not receive any financial funding from the government or from insurance companies.
- Who provides direct care at Gateway Home?
All care given at Gateway Home is provided by volunteers or staff members who are trained to provide the best possible care. We change caregivers every four hours during our day and evening shifts so our caregivers come in renewed and refreshed. Our overnight shift from 11-7 is usually manned by one caregiver. Interested individuals do not need to have any healthcare experience to become a volunteer – just an open heart and a willingness to learn how to care for another person. We help volunteers do the rest!
- Who is eligible for admission to Gateway Home?
Admission to Gateway Home is based on an assessment of those who have the greatest need and the fewest options. A physician must have determined that the person has a terminal illness and is in their last three months of life. We are not able to accept every person who is referred and can only care for up to two dying residents at one time. Each case is evaluated carefully by our Assessment Caregivers and Director of Resident Care and priority is given to those people who have the greatest need at the time; i.e., those who are at home with limited adequate care giving support. Other considerations involve the complexity of nursing care that some people may require.
We do not use intravenous fluids, feeding tubes or CPR (resuscitation). It ensures that comfort care, pain management, and symptom control will accompany a natural death process, in an atmosphere filled with love. It is not uncommon to have multiple people waiting for the next available bed. When a bed is available, our Assessment team evaluates all who are waiting, and choose the one who has the greatest need; not who is next on the list for admission.
- What if my loved one who is residing at Gateway Home lives beyond three months?
At times there may be remission of a person’s disease, and it may be necessary to be discharged from Gateway Home to an alternative placement: such as home, or moving in with a family member, or to a Nursing home. It’s amazing to see, and such a blessing, that with some conditions, proper symptom control management, socialization and tender loving care, people do go into remission and live longer than what was expected. The staff at Gateway Home will work closely with the Hospice team and family to determine the best alternative placement for our resident. Residents may return to Gateway Home and die peacefully when that time is appropriate and a bed is available.
- Are volunteer opportunities available?
YES! In fact, we could not operate without volunteers. There are many volunteer roles, so please consider your individual gifts and how you might utilize those to support the Gateway Home. The greatest need is resident care volunteers. If you prefer not to work with residents, there are numerous other opportunities available.