Serving Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Snohomish Counties
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Palliative Pearl:

A proactive approach for COVID-19

March 2020 –Do you care for vulnerable elders, memory care patients, the complex chronically ill or nursing home residents? Tips for conversations about future care decisions during a pandemic:

For frail nursing home patients: “Your father would not likely survive an acute respiratory illness that required a ventilator or the intensive care unit.  I believe this may only prolong his death, not his life. Should we change his POLST to limited interventions or comfort-focused care?”

For medically complex patients: “With your advanced lung disease I believe that a serious respiratory infection would tip your situation toward a very poor prognosis. Can we talk about what a hospitalization might mean for you?”

For dementia patients: “Your mom seems comfortable in her current setting.  I worry a hospitalization would produce fear and agitation.  If she became sick with a serious infection, would you want to focus on comfort care in place?”

Please contact us, if you feel a patient needs comfort-focused care for an acute respiratory illness they are unlikely to survive. Even if there isn’t time to admit to hospice, we can help you with respiratory comfort ideas.

For more information contact Dr. Leslie Estep or Dr. Anita Meyer at Hospice of the Northwest, 360-814-5550, or  or

About Hospice of the Northwest

Hospice of the Northwest is a skilled, caring and compassionate team of nursing, medical, social and spiritual professionals, volunteers and generous donors. Together, we provide comprehensive care and comfort for patients facing serious illness and the loved ones who care for them. We’ve been serving the residents of Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish Counties since 1989.

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