Breaking Down the Walls of Hospice

Breaking Down the Walls of Hospice

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Former President Jimmy Carter has now been in hospice for a year. This is remarkable news because of the many myths surrounding what hospice can do for those who need it.

The average enrollment for hospice patients is around three months, with the median being just 18 days, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, or NHPCO. Former President Carter’s experience is certainly outside the norm, and it should highlight the program’s unexpected possibilities.

We might often associate famous people and celebrities with various marketable services, products, and charity organizations. It’s exciting to think about Matthew convincing us to buy a Lincoln, but when it comes to a service like hospice, it doesn’t matter who uses it; no one wants it. Most people don’t even want to know about it.

Because hospice holds such a stigma, most of us forgo learning about it until it hits home for ourselves or someone we love. For those living with conditions like heart disease, lung disease, dementia, and stroke, a definitive idea of how long you might have to live and how you will feel is unknown.

Those common diagnoses could qualify someone for hospice care.  Hospice care can help people live more meaningful and comfortable days at the end of their lives, but if no one wants to learn about it, the less and less it will be used.

Who Wants to Know?

Many of us scroll over stories and avoid movies where the beloved leading character dies in the end—especially if the character is a beloved pooch! Just like we don’t willingly go out and subject ourselves to a touching story of a dog passing away, we also don’t sign up voluntarily to learn about hospice.

Hospice is a Medicare benefit. We pay into Medicare throughout our working years, and if we need a mobility device or other benefit, we don’t usually bat an eye. However, many don’t often use the support available from hospice because it’s such a loaded word.

The idea that we need to say goodbye, receive proper care and pain management, and make sure our families will be ok feels like looking up to a mountaintop. It’s simply a lot to fathom. Even if we’re diagnosed with a terminal condition, it might be hard to want to learn about hospice, too.

Hospice can be such a fantastic support. If someone is given a bleak prognosis that they never hoped to hear, and things are spinning out of control, hospice can allow patients to have some control.

What are the Goals of Hospice?

  • To keep patients pain-free but alert
  • To ensure patients can choose how they wish to pass (e.g., surrounded by loved ones, with music, pets, and favorite things nearby).
  • To provide support for the patient AND their family/loved ones (hospice will assist loved ones with bereavement support and resources for up to 13 months after a patient passes away

We’ve reviewed hospice myths many times to help people better understand what it can do; however, it’s still underutilized. We’re working to raise awareness about it early before it’s needed or earlier during an illness so that people can consider their options when it feels like there are none.

How Long Can Someone Qualify?

There is no simple answer to this, but we want to spread the word so folks use hospice sooner because the median hospice enrollment is around three weeks. CaringEdge once served a patient in their hospice program for over eight years!

To qualify, a prognosis of passing away within six months or less is required for enrollment. Physicians determine who qualifies to enroll based on the regulations, and they will re-evaluate someone’s condition every six months to decide whether they still qualify.

It’s possible to qualify for hospice for years, and on some rare occasions, people improve and no longer qualify for the program for certain periods. Patients can also choose to discontinue hospice if a new treatment becomes available or if they wish to continue treating their illness.

What Can Hospice Staff Teach Us?

Hospice teams understand the importance of having quality days at the end of life. When the uncertainty causes anxiety and fear, hospice staff can make each day the best it can be.  Through volunteers, medications, and talking, they can help ease the anxiety that comes with a terminal illness.

Those working in hospice have been through the dying process repeatedly, and they can bring their expert-level patience and consideration right where it’s needed. Not only can they educate patients on the process, but they can also educate loved ones who may be about to navigate a significant loss for the first time.

Hospice teams can also offer peace of mind that once a patient passes away, their loved ones will have access to resources and support. Sometimes, that’s exactly what a patient needs to calm their anxiety at the end of their illness.

If you want to learn more about hospice services through CaringEdge, please get in touch with us at

Managing Care Transitions for Seniors

Managing Care Transitions for Seniors

caringedge managing care transitions for seniors

At CaringEdge Health Services, we understand the importance of seamless transitions of care for seniors. Many seniors struggle with transitions due to their age and may end up feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty understanding a given care transition. They may also lack the motivation to make necessary changes. It is our mission to ensure that seniors have a successful transition to a new level of care, with minimal disruption of their routine.

Laying the Groundwork for Care Transitions

Planning is a critical part of successful care transitions for seniors. From the beginning, it’s important to decide what kind of care is needed and determine what type of provider is best suited to meet these needs. We work closely with our clients and their family members to develop a personalized plan for care that includes everything from medications and follow-up appointments to transportation arrangements and activity schedules. Once the plan is in place, it’s important to provide the senior with an understanding of their role in the process. This includes providing them with the education and resources they need to ensure a successful transition. We provide our clients with personalized instruction on how to effectively manage their health and ensure that they fully understand their care plan and the expectations that must be met.

Optimizing Transitions of Care

We do everything we can to ensure that our clients’ care transition is successful. This includes providing the necessary information to physicians, specialist, and other providers. We also arrange for family members to be present at meetings to ensure that they understand any changes to their loved one’s care plan. Additionally, we ensure that all our clients have the resources they need to successfully complete their transition of care. This may include providing transportation to and from appointments, helping to develop a healthy routine, organizing medications and supplies, and coordinating follow-up visits.

The Benefits of Care Transitions

Successful transitions of care can make a tremendous difference for seniors. Not only can it help to reduce stress and improve the quality of care, but it can also provide seniors with a greater sense of control over their own healthcare. Many seniors find that their transitions of care have resulted in improved quality of life and increased independence. At CaringEdge Health Services, we prioritize providing our clients with a successful and seamless transition of care. From forming a personalized plan to providing necessary resources and support, we strive to ensure that our clients’ transitions of care are successful and beneficial.

The Role of Case Managers in Coordinating Care

The Role of Case Managers in Coordinating Care

caringedge the role of case managers in coordinating care

Case management is an important part of the coordination and maintenance of care for those who are either living with or have been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness. A case manager provides a thorough assessment of an individual’s health care needs and coordinates the delivery of service and resources to promote the most effective and least restrictive care.

The case manager provides an assessment of an individual’s present and foreseeable needs, and works collaboratively with various other disciplines in the management and coordination of care. This might mean providing patient education and support, helping arrange for long-term care when needed, linking the individual to community resources, tracking test results or other vital information, and managing medication. The goal of case management is to ensure that quality, cost-effective outcomes are realized.

When case management is effective, it can be a resource to both the patient and their healthcare team. In terms of care coordination, it can ensure that the patient’s care plan is both comprehensive and coordinated across multiple providers, particularly when the patient is referred to specialists or other community resources. Moreover, research has demonstrated that coordinated care has the potential to reduce unnecessary medical costs and improve health outcomes.

The role of case managers is also to connect patients and their families with particular resources that make their care more convenient as well as provide support for a more collaborative approach between providers. For example, case managers can provide assistance in finding transportation to appointments, assist with short-term meals and lodging, and connect individuals to support services such as counseling, technical assistance, and physical and occupational therapy.

Case management also has the potential to improve healthcare quality. By providing the right information to the right people at the right time, case managers can ensure that necessary preventive interventions take place and any related risks are monitored, thus preventing potentially serious complications. Case management can also provide the necessary tools and guidance to manage complex conditions, giving patients the resources and support they need to improve health outcomes and quality of life.

Case management is a vital role in ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of quality care. It helps ensure that patients are connected to necessary resources and services and that all providers are working together to achieve the most successful outcomes. It also gives patients the ability to confidently and effectively manage their own health and wellbeing.


Case Managers play a vital role in the healthcare system. By providing assessments, coordination of care, and assistance with connecting patients to the right resources, case managers help ensure quality care is received and that patients are empowered and well informed with regards to their own health and wellbeing.

CaringEdge Home Health and Hospice: A Beacon of Compassionate Care in Bismarck

CaringEdge Home Health and Hospice: A Beacon of Compassionate Care in Bismarck

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Click Here to View The Video: ND Today Business Highlight: CaringEdge Home Health & Hospice (


CaringEdge Home Health and Hospice in Bismarck, North Dakota, has been a topic of conversation on KFYR TV’s North Dakota Today, highlighting its exceptional services in home health and hospice care. This feature spotlights the compassionate work spearheaded by Torie Lenhardt, Director of Home Health, and Jenalee Mollman, Director of Hospice. Here, we delve into the insights they shared about these vital services, who can benefit from them, and how their primary goal remains to provide care in the comfort of home, thereby reducing hospital visits.

Understanding Home Health and Hospice Services

Home Health Care: A Closer Look

Home health care is a broad term encompassing a range of health and social services delivered in a patient’s home. It is ideally suited for patients recovering from an illness or surgery, those needing assistance with chronic health issues, or individuals requiring therapeutic and nursing care. Torie Lenhardt, in her discussion, emphasized the personalized approach CaringEdge takes in crafting home health plans that cater to each individual’s needs. Torie highlights the multiple disciplines offered by CaringEdge, including, Skilled Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Home Health Aides.

Hospice Care: Compassionate End-of-Life Care

Hospice care, as explained by Jenalee Mollman, is specialized care designed to provide comfort and support to individuals in the final phase of a terminal illness. The focus here is not on cure but on ensuring quality of life, dignity, and comfort. Hospice care involves a multidisciplinary team approach, including physicians, nurses, social workers, and spiritual advisors, all working together to provide holistic care.

Who Can Benefit from These Services?

Eligibility for Home Health Care

Home health services are for those who find it challenging to leave home due to illness or disability. It is an effective option for post-surgery patients, those with chronic illnesses like heart failure or diabetes, and seniors needing assistance with daily activities.

Hospice Care Candidates

Hospice care is for individuals diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, having a prognosis of six months or less if the disease runs its usual course. It’s about caring, not curing, and provides support for both the patient and their family.

Goals and Benefits of Home-Based Care

Keeping Patients Out of the Hospital

One of the primary objectives of CaringEdge is to reduce the frequency of hospital visits for patients. By providing comprehensive care at home, CaringEdge aims to manage symptoms effectively, prevent complications, and improve the overall quality of life for patients.

Personalized Care in the Comfort of Home

Both home health and hospice services offer the advantage of personalized care tailored to individual needs, all within the familiar and comfortable setting of one’s home. This approach not only fosters a sense of independence and dignity for patients but also allows families to be closely involved in the care process.

CaringEdge’s Commitment to Excellence

Expert Team and Holistic Approach

CaringEdge stands out for its team of highly skilled professionals who adopt a holistic approach to care. This means addressing not just the physical needs of patients but also their emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

Continuous Support and Education

In addition to providing care, CaringEdge is dedicated to educating families and caregivers, ensuring they have the knowledge and support needed to care for their loved ones effectively.


The feature on KFYR TV’s North Dakota Today has rightly highlighted the essential services provided by CaringEdge Home Health and Hospice in Bismarck. With a team led by experts like Torie Lenhardt, Jenalee Mollman and Janessa Vogel, CaringEdge continues to be a pillar of support and compassion for those in need of home health and hospice care. Their dedication to keeping patients comfortable in their homes and out of hospitals is not just a service; it’s a commitment to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and families during challenging times.

For more information about CaringEdge Home Health and Hospice services in Bismarck, please visit our website or contact us directly. Our team is ready to answer any questions and guide you through the process of getting the care you or your loved ones need.

Embracing the Spirit of the Holidays: Enhancing Comfort and Joy in Home Health, Hospice, and Assisted Living, Highlighting volunteer opportunities and community support for these care settings during the holiday season

Embracing the Spirit of the Holidays: Enhancing Comfort and Joy in Home Health, Hospice, and Assisted Living, Highlighting volunteer opportunities and community support for these care settings during the holiday season

caringedge home health embracing the spirit of the holidays

With the holiday season upon us, it can be hard to find the joy and cheer we so deeply crave this time of year. For those in home care, hospice, or assisted living settings, however, the holidays may bring on additional challenges. Many public facilities may have less staff, reduced resources, and tight restrictions on visitors. As the providers of these vital services, it is up to us to ensure that our patients and the communities at large find ways to connect, rejoice, and celebrate, even amidst the ever-present challenges of the pandemic.

Whether they’re spreading light and joy through holiday concerts or caroling in the hallways, there are countless ways to encourage our patients and care recipients to find meaning in the holidays. We can use this season to bridge gaps between cultures, celebrate special gatherings of family and friends, and maybe find a holiday baking project to share with others. Comfort and joy could start with a kind word, heartfelt letter, a warm meal, or a socially-distanced visit.

It is our mission at CaringEdge Health Services to make the holidays special for our patients and their families, with a unique blend of personal, compassionate care and an array of organizations and initiatives devoted to making the holidays brighter for everyone in our extended network. Our private home health care companies and our elderly care home teams offer festive programs crossing cultural, religious, and social lines, and we work diligently with our local businesses, churches, and affiliates to provide meals, music, decorations, and the chance for our patients to enjoy the winter season together.

Volunteer Opportunities to Bring Holiday Cheer to Home Care Settings

The holiday season is a great time to reach out to our local communities to solicit or host an event like a Holiday Toy Drive, a Secret Santa program, or a special event for patients. The donation of gifts and food items, and the joy associated with holiday decorations brightens our facilities, and leads to smiles all around. We’ve found that having volunteers bring goodies, cards, decorations, food, books, or even play cards or offer an activity of their own helps spread cheer and a sense of family and holiday spirit.

Community Support for our Home Health, Hospice, and Assisted Living Settings

Beyond gifts and decorations, there are lots of creative and meaningful ways we can connect with our larger community. A few ideas that may spark joy in our centers include:

  • Making holiday ornaments, paintings, or special gifts
  • Creating holiday cards for troops, elderly friends, or loved ones
  • Sending out good wishes and holiday letters through friends and family
  • Hosting a virtual holiday party with stories, music, and dance
  • Organizing games, puzzles, and activities for residents
  • Coordinating caroling events and story-telling
  • Posting festive photos and video messages on social media
  • Making blankets or other items to donate to charities in need

At CaringEdge, we know the power of kindness and the significance of togetherness, especially during the holidays. We are proud to share in the holiday spirit and embrace the joy of the season through our services and local partnerships. This year, let’s step up and make the holidays brighter for everyone in our care and beyond.

The Comfort of Healthcare At Your Side

The Comfort of Healthcare At Your Side

senior female with two female healthcare workers 1

November is Home Health and Hospice Month. While celebrating this month is important, having care available when and where you need it is something we should celebrate ALL year! Living in poor health or chronic pain can be dreadful. Enjoying activities and hobbies is hard when you’re not feeling well.

Here are some of the fantastic healthcare services that offer hope to those planning to age in place:

  • Home health or outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • Care management & coordination
  • Referrals
  • Wound care
  • Prescription medication monitoring/ management
  • Nursing oversight
  • Hospice

Managing Healthcare and Chronic Illnesses

Dealing with chronic health issues and pain can be a full-time job. The physical and mental strain a disease or injury can cause is one thing, but doing all that’s needed to heal or improve a condition is another story. If daily life consists of being on hold on the phone with providers, sitting in waiting rooms, running to pharmacies, and making endless trips back and forth to the clinic for treatment, healing might feel impossible.

We often look to our families or loved ones to help emotionally support us, but that can also affect them and our relationships. You know what they say about venting! It’s all fine and dandy, but you can’t expect friends and loved ones to always be there or to solve what’s bothering you.

The same is true for physical well-being; friends and family are great, but they can’t be there to answer everything unless they’re in the medical field or have training. Having additional oversight from a healthcare team can be helpful. Services like care management and coordination, home health, or at-home therapies can reduce the scheduling hassles, allowing patients the energy they need to heal.

To help improve the quality of life for many, healthcare has gone mobile! From physical, occupational, and speech therapy to at-home nurse visits, home healthcare is becoming widely available to improve life for those who are homebound.

Support at the End of Life

When healthcare systems can no longer cure the conditions plaguing us, we’re forced to stare down the barrel of mortality. To say this is hard would be an understatement. Only those who have been through it know the feeling.

Talking about dying often creates silence. People don’t know what to do or say. The trouble is that silence about the end of life does not make it go away or change; it makes it more complicated. Loved ones may keep trying to find cures or other providers to unravel the prognosis, but when death stares us in the face, and the clinicians truly can’t make us any better, where do we turn?

The answer, another silencing response, is hospice. Hospice is a microphone-dropping word. Hospice means death. People don’t like to discuss death, much less how to die comfortably and pain-free. Barbara Karnes, RN, has expanded upon an excellent point throughout her various podcasts and written materials: when we’ve always been taught to keep trying to get better, allowing death seems foreign. This is precisely why hospice is such an important service.

Staff who work in hospice become experts in helping others go through the dying process. They know what to do even when the ugly crying happens. They can help you make the hard decisions based on what you, as a patient, want versus what your family thinks should be done. Hospice staff can tell you what to expect and, better yet, what they can do to make you comfortable as you complete the circle of life.

When it feels like there’s no hope, hospice is that very hope. Hospice gives patients the tools and voice to die on their terms. They can choose support services and volunteers, have a pain management plan, and feel comfortable knowing they won’t have to go it alone. It’s not just for the patient, but hospice supports families. For up to 13 months following a patient’s death, hospice staff can offer emotional support services and resources to family members or a patient’s loved ones. Knowing that the family will be cared for provides additional comfort for the dying patient.

Hospice can offer services on-site at senior living communities or in private homes. This can help create a calming place to pass away where someone is familiar with their surroundings. Without hospice, patients may be in and out of the hospital trying to treat something that can be managed in the short term but not cured. That can create a revolving door for ambulance rides, emergency medical services, and hospitalizations.

If you’re interested in how home health or hospice services could help you or a loved one, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at CaringEdge. We operate in a number of areas, and we’d love to help you in any way we can. Drop us a line at