President of Minnesota Hospice Kenneth Norman Haglind discusses how Minnesota Hospice goes above and beyond for patients and their families.
Minnesota Hospice is a community medical practice designed to provide the best end of life care for patients and families across the southern Twin Cities suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Kenneth Haglind recently discussed just what makes Minnesota Hospice the outstanding, award-winning organization that it is and why patients should opt for care from this organization when battling life-limiting illnesses.
“Minnesota hospice is committed to providing the quickest response to every patient’s needs,” Kenneth Norman Haglind said. “We will admit patients into hospice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These admissions can begin just a few hours after receiving an order.”
Kenneth Haglind explained that the team at Minnesota Hospice is always ready to serve patients and their families. They will respond in person during after hours and on weekends. Patients see the same core team of caregivers throughout the course of their care, creating compassionate relationships that help the patient and family feel more at ease.
Kenneth Norman Haglind added that Minnesota Hospice goes above and beyond through holistic approaches to care that encompass symptom and pain management. However, unlike some other hospice organizations, this isn’t where Minnesota Hospice stops. The care continues through spiritual and emotional support that’s tailored to meeting the needs of every patient and their caregivers. Ken Haglind explained that this organization is designed to preserve dignity while providing love and compassion at the end of life, and that’s what we do every day of the week, 24 hours a day.
“At Minnesota Hospice, we don’t just use traditional pain and symptom relief practices,” Kenneth Haglind said. “We utilize integrative therapies to enhance the patient’s quality of life and comfort. If there’s a new, effective way of improving a patient’s life, we don’t hesitate to incorporate it into our practices.”
Ken Haglind added that one way this can be seen is through the Minnesota Hospice organization’s registration with the State of Minnesota to provide medical cannabis to patients. Medical cannabis can be highly effective in managing symptoms of certain diseases, and Minnesota Hospice is able to provide it if desired. This is just one way the organization is open and willing to innovate its processes to improve the lives of patients.
Kenneth Norman Haglind added that Minnesota Hospice has received several awards for providing outstanding community hospice services. These include but are not limited to the Fazzi Associates 2019 Award of Distinction as a top 25 hospice provider in the country and the 2019 Best of Lakeville award in the category of hospice. Ken Haglind emphasizes that patients and their families will immediately see the benefits of choosing Minnesota Hospice for compassionate and dedicated end-of-life care.
When you’re working to figure out how to handle the declining health of a loved one, emotions can run high. Minnesota hospice expert Kenneth Norman Haglind explains how to decide if it’s time to consider hospice care for your family member who is suffering from a terminal illness.
First, you’ll want to talk with their doctor and get their opinion. While the final decision is up to you, get an unbiased opinion from someone who is emotionally removed from the situation can go a long way in helping you figure out next steps, says Kenneth Haglind.
Of course, the most important person in the decision is your loved one. Kenneth Norman Haglind recommends talking to them about how they feel about hospice care. Ken Haglind says that while this conversation may feel uncomfortable for you, take solace in the fact that your loved one has already mulled over the possibility of end of life care many times in their mind. If treatment is no longer working well, or they no longer want to pursue aggressive treatment options, Ken Haglind says that hospice care may be the next logical step. Your family member may even be relieved that you’re presenting them with the option, according to Kenneth Haglind. Many people who are dealing with terminal illness go through aggressive treatment at the insistence of family members, even though they may not want the treatment themselves.
If your loved one’s pain is getting harder and harder to manage, that’s another sign that it may be time to consider hospice care, according to Kenneth Haglind. Studies show that pain becomes more intense in the final stages of life. Talking to your loved one about making them as comfortable as possible through the progression of their disease can let them know that you’re making their comfort a top priority, even though the conversation may be emotionally difficult for you.
While your loved one is the top priority, Kenneth Norman Haglind also recommends taking stock of your own energy and stress levels. Being a full or part time caretaker of a loved one takes a toll not only on you – but on your family members as well. In order for you to be there for your loved one, you need to take care of yourself first. If you’re not able to manage your own stress levels while caring for your loved one, hospice may be the answer. Kenneth Haglind urges you to remember that this does not mean you’re giving up on your loved one – you can still be heavily involved in their care.
Kenneth Haglind Discusses How Hospice Care is Evolving with COVID-19 Cases
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to tens of thousands of people being infected around the country. The senior communities are being greatly impacted by the pandemic particularly, leading to hospice care experiencing more pressure than ever before. Ken Haglind, the president of Minnesota Hospice in Lakeville, Minnesota has identified what some of the new changes are.
Kenneth Haglind recommends identifying the resources available to care for someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, particularly if they are a senior citizen. When there are added health concerns with a patient, the disease can be deadly. As such, a higher level of support is needed.
Further, Ken Haglind suggests that the caregivers be careful about their interactions with a patient. When a caregiver is responsible for multiple patients in hospice care, it can lead to accidental exposure of other patients. All it takes is for one patient to have COVID-19 for all of the other patients under the care of the caregiver to be at a higher risk.
Ken Haglind identifies that there are hospice care teams that are exploring symptom management and communicating as new protocols are released from the CDC. Families are also told to be on the lookout for specific symptoms, including fevers, shortness of breath, and a dry cough.
In some instances, elderly individuals who are suspected of having COVID-19 are being refused by hospitals due to insufficient support. Hospice facilities, however, are working to provide comfort packs so that families can care for the sick without risking added exposure being admitted into a hospital.
Kenneth Haglind has modeled Minnesota Hospice under the vision of creating a gold standard for end-of-life care. Additionally, he works to create an environment where caregivers get the support and resources that they need.
With COVID-19, many details are evolving quickly. Kenneth Haglind’s goal is to provide correct information to caregivers and hospice care workers as it is released so that everyone is working together. This includes identifying new symptoms as the virus mutates as well as identifying levels of care. When it looks as though a patient will not recover, it becomes all about providing the most comfortable atmosphere possible. The mission of hospice that never changes is to make sure that the quality of life at the end of one’s life is the primary goal. Comfort, dignity, and choice are afforded to those who are served by hospice.
Anyone who has a loved one who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is suspected of having the virus should contact a local hospice to find out what support is being offered in their community, recommends Ken Haglind.
Kenneth Norman Haglind and Minnesota Hospice Helps Patients Regain Control Through Hospice Care
A common misconception exists that selecting hospice equates to giving up hope. The facts about hospice care prove otherwise. Instead, hospice care relieves suffering, facilitates closure for patients and family, and promotes dignity. Kenneth Norman Haglind, co-founder and president of Minnesota Hospice certainly understands the perception of hospice care. He believes that placing a loved one in hospice care requires compassion and strength. Ken Haglind also recognizes how Minnesota Hospice supports quality of life.
Kenneth Haglind’s Minnesota Hospice team is specially trained in end-of-life care which can be provided at any home including assisted living, private residence or a nursing home. Hospice care is also offered in medical facilities and hospitals to focus specifically on their patients requiring additional care until they are able to return home.
In addition to symptom management and pain, Ken Haglind and his hospice team offer additional services for patients as well as their families. These include assistance with financial issues, education about the process, emotional and spiritual support, help with the patient’s hygiene and care, and even respite care so the caregiver can have a break.
Kenneth Haglind has found that some hospice patients experience a health improvement during hospice due to the excellent benefits and care. In fact, some patients may even graduate from hospice if their condition improves. Others may choose to revoke their Medicare hospice benefit and return to pursue curative medical care. Minnesota Hospice’s patients regain a sense of control and relief while in care. Regular visits from the hospice aide and nurse prevent emergency hospital visits while keeping other symptoms under control.
Kenneth Norman Haglind and his organization believes patients being home, surrounded by family and friends significantly improves their quality of life. Regular chats with a chaplain or social worker ease emotional pain. Over time, the patient and their family start to look forward to tomorrow.
The additional support offered by hospice care, as recognized by Kenneth Haglind, is the decrease in financial burdens. Ken Haglind explains that hospital bills can be incredibly expensive and overwhelming. Through hospice care, Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance help considerably to reduce or eliminate hospice care costs.
Ken Haglind further explains that hospice care empowers patients and their caregivers. Patients are allowed to control their lives at home during their final months. Meanwhile, caregivers benefit from emotional and physical support while having the opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones.
During his years in hospice care, Kenneth Norman Haglind has found that the service also provides family education and counseling. Support and guidance are critical aspects of the journey. Hospice helps families deal with a variety of emotions that occur during this difficult time. Also, at the end of the journey, hospice typically provides grief counseling and family bereavement, and assistance with some of the after-death tasks that must be completed.
Kenneth Norman Haglind knows that selecting hospice care is not easy but does offer a successful and calming experience during a difficult time. After the journey has ended, most families find that hospice care was the right decision for their loved one.
Kenneth Haglind, President of Minnesota Hospice explains the importance of Minnesota’s We Honor Veterans Program and how it helps veterans receive top-notch care.
Veterans often suffer from health issues that are different from those of Americans who have not served in the armed forces. These issues can be linked to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), certain ailments acquired in battle, and more. Kenneth Haglind of Minnesota Hospice praises the “We Honor Veterans Program” for its ability to provide specialized hospice training care to these veterans in need.
“These veterans need and deserve hospice care that’s tailored to their individual situations,” Ken Haglind says. “We owe it to them to accommodate their needs and always make them feel as safe as possible with us.”
Kenneth Haglind states that PTSD can cause veteran hospice patients to seek isolation or attempt to avoid difficult memories. The patient’s need for personal control and time alone may conflict with what hospice care professionals are expected to do. Fortunately, the “We Honor Veterans” program is equipped with healthcare professionals specialized in the needs of veterans. Ken Haglind explains they understand that what veterans face at the end of life is often different from other patients, and they know how to provide comfort and care without crossing boundaries.
The “We Honor Veterans” program and its healthcare staff are focused on far more than healthcare. Kenneth Haglind of Minnesota Hospice states that the organization was founded to provide compassionate listening, acknowledgment, and respectful inquiry for these patients who have led different, and often more difficult, lives than many other patients. These hospice care professionals will spend hours listening to stories and acknowledging the importance of these veteran lives.
“This program is equipped with people who fully understand the needs of veterans,” Ken Haglind says. “They also understand that the families of veterans may have added difficulties caring for their loved ones as well. This program accommodates those caregivers too.”
Kenneth Haglind states that “We Honor Veterans” is a part of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. It works in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to reach patients throughout Minnesota and the country.
“We believe that veterans deserve the highest level of healthcare, and the ‘We Honor Veterans’ program is providing that in terms of hospice care,” Ken Haglind says. “We are honored to be able to serve our veterans and their families.”
Making the decision for hospice care for your loved one is perhaps one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make. “It’s an emotional time,” Kenneth Haglind says, “and it’s a time that’s especially hard on you as a family member.” For that reason, Ken Haglind says finding the right hospice care can go a long way in easing your worries. The agency you choose should be one that you’re completely comfortable with. Here, Kenneth Haglind talks about some things to consider when thinking about hospice care for your loved one.
Hospice care is end-of-life care, Kenneth Haglind begins. It is a time when the care shifts from medical curative and preventative care to focus primarily on palliative care, including comfort and relief of symptoms for the dying person.
Just because you’re choosing hospice care doesn’t mean you’re giving up, Ken Haglind says. It means you’re choosing your loved one’s welfare and comfort for their final days, he adds. It means you’re choosing to focus on quality of life instead of trying to cure a terminal illness. In the chance that your loved one recovers, he says, you can always change your mind and resume medical curative care. Patient choice is one of the many positive aspects about hospice.
Legally, hospice care can be ordered if the physician believes the patient has less than 6 months to live. However, we see far too many people starting hospice much too late, Kenneth Haglind says. Medical staff in the hospital can give palliative care, he adds, but hospice care is so much more than that. Hospice focuses on pain relief and relief from shortness of breath and other physical symptoms in addition to emotional and spiritual concerns, Ken Haglind explains.
The hospice team includes a physician and a nurse, a social worker, a home health aide, and a chaplain if needed. There are also volunteers which can assist with other things like running errands or even duties like light house cleaning. The physician is in charge of the medical plan, Kenneth Haglind says, and aides can help with things like bathing, dressing, and light cleaning chores. Social workers are available for the loved ones and caregivers, he adds, and it’s a very compassionate and caring team of professionals that provides support with hospice.
Hospice care can be in your home, Kenneth Haglind says, but it can also be provided at a hospital, nursing home, or another long-term care place. Almost everybody says it’s the best decision they could ever make for their loved ones.
It can be devastating when a parent, grandparent, sibling, or other relative is diagnosed with a terminal disease and told that they have less than six months left to live. In addition to strong emotions such as fear, worry, sadness, and even anger, most folks feel overwhelmed by the details and difficult decisions that lie ahead.
Hospice care providers can help shoulder this burden. Kenneth Haglind, President and Co-Founder of Minnesota Hospice, wants to make sure that everyone understands the value of hospice care.
Q: What Is the Goal of Hospice?
A: “The goal of hospice is, first and foremost, to make the patient as comfortable as possible in their last months or weeks of life. However, hospice team members also play an enormous role in assisting the patient’s caretakers and family,” Kenneth Haglind explained.
Q: When Does a Patient Need Hospice Care?
A: Ken Haglind explains that terminally ill patients are referred to hospice when their doctors determine that they have six months or less left to live.
Q: Where Does Hospice Care Take Place?
A: “Spending one’s last months or weeks in a hospital is never ideal. One of the major benefits of hospice care is that it can often take place in a patient’s own home, whether that is their house, an assisted living community, or a skilled nursing facility. In other instances, a patient can go to a freestanding hospice center, where all medical issues can be treated but which has a homier, more comfortable atmosphere than a hospital,” says Kenneth Haglind of Minnesota Hospice.
Q: Who Is on a Hospice Team?
A: A hospice team comprises a number of professionals, as well as volunteers, each dedicated to the goal of helping a patient be as comfortable as possible. According to Ken Haglind, a typical team includes:
-Registered Nurses, nurse assistants
-Licensed vocational nurses
-Certified nursing assistant and home health aides
-Licensed social workers
-Chaplains and spiritual care counselors
-Speech, physical, or occupational therapists
-Integrative therapies such as massage and music therapists
Q: What Do Hospice Volunteers Do?
A: In short, Ken Haglind says, just about anything that the medical team members don’t. They can run errands, prepare light meals or do light housekeeping, or simply lend a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on — for both the patient and their loved ones. Volunteers are also called on to provide brief respite care, staying with the patient so that their family members can have a break from the demands of caretaking.
Q: Are There Licensing Requirements for Hospice Providers?
A: “Yes, on the state level. Additionally, hospices are required to comply with federal regulations and undergo regular evaluations to ensure they are in compliance. Hospice programs are also certified for reimbursement under Medicare,” Ken Haglind of Minnesota Hospice explained.
Q: When Are Hospice Team Members Available?
A: Ken Haglind says, “because the symptoms and pain of life-limiting illnesses do not follow a 9-5 schedule, neither do hospice workers. At the minimum, a nurse will be on call 24/7 and able to respond to a patient’s needs by phone or a face to face visit. Some hospice programs also keep chaplains, social workers, and others on call, as well.”
If you are interested in hospice care for yourself or a loved one, Kenneth Haglind advises that you speak to your (or your loved one’s) physician to determine whether hospice is appropriate. They can also refer you to a hospice program in your local area.
Caretaking during the last few months or weeks of a loved one’s life isn’t easy. That’s particularly true when the patient is suffering from pain, discomfort, or limitations – no longer being able to eat or drink, for example – that greatly affects their quality of life, Ken Haglind explains. It will require a lot of strength, faith, and compassion to get you through this difficult stage, and you may feel as though you are all alone. That’s where hospice care comes in.
Ken Haglind, co-founder and president of Minnesota Hospice, discusses what hospice care is and how it helps patients and their families.
What is Hospice Care, Exactly?
At its heart, hospice is a holistic program that provides end-of-life care for terminally ill patients and their families. Among hospice care’s goals are making the patient as comfortable as possible, easing their symptoms and pain, and helping their families cope with the emotional upheaval during this period.
Hospice care focuses on patients who are expected to live for no more than six months. At this stage, Ken Haglind says, the individual’s doctors and other health care providers may have ceased providing medical interventions. The goal is not to cure the patient or to seek remission of their disease, but to provide as much comfort as possible in all aspects of a person’s well being.
Hospice Care vs. Palliative Care
According to Ken Haglind, many people are confused about the difference between hospice care and palliative care. It’s easy to see why, as they are very similar concepts. The key distinction is that palliative care can take place at any time during a patient’s treatment. Palliative care may be undertaken concurrently with curative efforts. In some cases, a medical team may make the decision to transition a patient from palliative to hospice care, but plenty of people who receive palliative care recover and go on to live full lives. So, while hospice is always palliative in nature, palliative care is not necessarily hospice.
The Many Faces of Hospice Care
Hospice care is holistic and comprehensive, explains Ken Haglind. It addresses the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of the patient and their family. To that end, a hospice team may comprise doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, spiritual advisors or clergy members, and therapists or counselors who specialize in bereavement and grief. There may also be volunteers whose focus is on supporting the caregivers in addition to the patient, by taking care of practical matters or assisting in providing temporary respite.
Together, this interdisciplinary approach is welcomed by families who are struggling to juggle every aspect of the patient’s well-being. One important benefit of hospice care, explains Ken Haglind, is that it frees up family members so they can spend quality time with their loved one.
Hospice Can Happen At Home
Unlike many medical treatments, that must take place in a hospital or clinic, hospice care can take place wherever the patient is. This is a boon for those who wish to remain at home to be comforted by the familiar surroundings, Ken Haglind explains. Hospice care can also be administered in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. There are also some freestanding hospice centers, which can be a good choice if the patient’s home isn’t appropriate for one or more aspects of end-of-life treatment.
There are, of course, many difficult decisions that must be made when a terminally ill patient is living out his or her last days – but the decision to ask for help from a qualified, compassionate hospice team is surely one of the easiest, Ken Haglind explains.