Shell Point Opens New Hospice Unit

Partnership with Hope Hospice of Lee County

FORT MYERS, FL – Shell Point has expanded its services by adding a Hospice unit to its skilled nursing center. Shell Point has reserved the entire top floor of its new skilled nursing annex to provide Hospice services. Shell Point Hospice features nine private rooms with views overlooking a manatee-filled lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River beyond. Shell Point Hospice is being introduced through a partnership agreement with Hope Hospice of Lee County. The Shell Point Hospice program will provide state-of-the-art palliative and supportive care to individuals at the end of their lives.

“We understand that quality at the end of one’s life is unique to each individual,” said Dr. Roger Hirchak, vice president of health and medical services at Shell Point. “Through our hospice program, Shell Point will provide support and care for persons in the last phases of an incurable disease, so they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.”

Hospice Philosophy and Goals
The Hospice philosophy exists in the hope and belief that, through appropriate care and sensitivity to the dying patient’s needs, individuals and their families may be free to attain a degree of satisfaction in preparation for death, while recognizing and supporting their unique experiences. Hospice services recognize that human growth and development can be a lifelong process and even during the individual’s last phase of life, there remains an inherent potential for growth.

Hospice program goals:

  • (1) Self-determined life closure — anticipating death, mentally competent residents will have autonomy to make decisions about how the remainder of their life is spent, within the allowances of law.
  • (2) Safe and comfortable dying — the resident will die free of distressing symptoms in an environment that does not aggravate or hasten dying.
  • (3) Effective grieving — the expression of grief by family members eventually supports the individuals to adjust to their environment without the deceased and regain the ability to invest in other activities and relationships.

Palliative care versus curative care is important to understand: Hospice philosophy focuses more on the palliative or comfort care, while traditional medical care focuses on curing a disease. Palliative care promotes the individuals’ right to self-determination and decision-making. Pain management will be a priority for patients using the Hospice Unit, with the focus on the physical, psychological, social and spiritual components of each patient. The hospice interdisciplinary team is made up of physicians, nurses, nurse assistants, a chaplain, social worker, pharmacist, dietitian, and a number of different therapies to promote peace during the dying process.

Lee County Need for Additional Hospice Programs
At any given time, there are numbers of individuals throughout Lee County that could benefit from Hospice care. “There is a tremendous need for skilled Hospice care,” said Hirchak. “We’ve carefully studied the needs of our residents here at Shell Point, as well as the surrounding population of Lee County. I’m confident that this new service at Shell Point will be of benefit to not only our own community, but to all of Lee County.”

Shell Point has entered into a contract with Hope Hospice of Lee County to offer an entire floor for hospice care. These private rooms, featuring some of the finest waterside views at Shell Point, allow for overnight stays by family members and easy access to Shell Point’s medical personnel. Some of the advantages to be found at Shell Point’s Hospice are the full-time staff of physicians, an onsite pharmacy, trained volunteers, and a professional, caring staff.

Shell Point is located on McGregor Boulevard, just off Summerlin Road in Fort Myers, two miles before the Sanibel Causeway. For further information about Shell Point Hospice, please call (239) 415-5432.

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