Until now, people on dialysis typically had to choose between remaining on dialysis or hospice care, but a new partnership between Our Lady of Peace (OLP) and DaVita Kidney Care is allowing dialysis patients to have both, when they are ready. The RAIN program allows DaVita patients to enroll in hospice while continuing to receive dialysis.
Our Lady of Peace Hospice was selected to be one of a handful of providers to provide hospice and palliative care to DaVita patients. Currently, there are just 26 hospices organizations participating across the country.
It’s a win-win,” says Nancy Larson, RN, CHPN, Our Lady of Peace Hospice & Home Health Care Director of Nursing. “It’s a perfect additional layer of care that we can offer patients through this partnership.”
How does the partnership work?
DaVita caregivers call OLP when they have a dialysis patient who could use the supportive care of hospice but wants to remain on dialysis.
While DaVita dialysis nurses and social workers focus on the needs of patients as they relate to receiving dialysis and taking care of them during that process, our OLP team focuses on caring for them at home. Our hospice and palliative care nurses and social workers offer patients and their families undivided attention to the complex needs of navigating a chronic illness at home, and our hospice physician provides oversight.
When a DaVita patient comes to OLP, they will most likely be experiencing difficulties with dialysis or other conditions, and as a result, is making trips to the hospital to manage crisis or symptom burdens. They may also be struggling spiritually due to their diagnosis, and we can provide support with that as well, through our hospice program. The wonderful thing is that now, the patient can be in our hospice program and still go to dialysis, if they choose to.
Palliative care is also an option during dialysis.
Nancy says, “Think of palliative care as is a ‘hospice light.’ Patients don’t receive our full suite of hospices services, but they may need some extra care with symptom management/quality of life concerns, and a social worker to help them with advanced planning, while they continue with dialysis.” Nancy says someone who has a new diagnosis with a longer prognosis would be a good candidate for palliative care. “These patients typically need a lot of assistance and visits from a social worker,” she explains. “They are coping with a diagnosis that has turned their world upside down and they’re trying to figure out how to maintain their life while going to dialysis three days a week. Our social worker can guide them through that process.”
OLP Hospice recently provided hospice care to a DaVita in-home dialysis patient. She had been independent with her dialysis procedure for quite some time but began having trouble and experiencing more discomfort. Family members stepped in to help, but it was hard for them maintain the care and manage the symptoms, so DaVita reached out to OLP. When the patient and family made the decision to stop dialysis, the patient felt remarkably well in our care for a full week, allowing her to spend quality time with her family while her symptoms were managed, and her family felt supported throughout. “She benefited from our care until she passed away,” Nancy says. “It feels good to be able to provide this care to people who need it, in addition to dialysis.”
Our Lady of Peace provides hospice and palliative care to patients who live within a 25-mile radius of OLP our hospice residence in St. Paul. If you are a dialysis patient in need of our services, we would be honored to care for you. You can connect with us through your DaVita provider or call us directly at 651-789-5030.