Transitions is a community program from Benton Hospice Service designed to help individuals and families live well with a serious, life-limiting illness. Transitions is for those who are either not ready for, or not appropriate for, hospice care.
Dealing with a serious illness can be overwhelming, confusing, frustrating, and even frightening for the seriously ill person, as well as for their family. Maintaining independence while learning to rely on others can be a challenge.
The Transitions program is designed to help people navigate the physical, social, and emotional changes that arise with a serious illness.
Participation in this program is voluntary, although the client’s physician is consulted to ensure Transitions services are appropriate. There is no cost to the client for Transitions services. A phone call to Transitions at Benton Hospice Service is all that is needed to get started. We can answer questions and help determine whether Transitions is appropriate.
What services are provided?
Transitions offers connection to community resources, companionship and emotional support, practical help with errands and light housekeeping, education about illness and what comes next, and respite or a ‘little time off’ for caregivers.
After assessing a client’s needs, a case manager connects clients with appropriate community resources. The case manager may also assign a volunteer for ongoing support. Volunteers may provide transportation, run errands, help with meal preparation, or offer companionship. The case manager continues to monitor each client’s changing needs and offer referrals to appropriate resources.
What does Transitions cost?
There is no charge to Transitions clients. Transitions is supported by generous community grants and donations. Gifts to Transitions are gratefully accepted and are fully tax-deductible.
Where are Transitions services provided?
Transitions services are available in a client’s home, wherever that may be.
Who is eligible for Transitions?
Anyone who has a life-limiting illness can use Transitions, whether or not they are receiving active treatment for an illness.
Call Transitions for help if someone you know is dealing with a life-limiting illness and:
- needs help obtaining information and understanding the illness and its challenges
- is having trouble managing the activities of daily life
- chooses to pursue treatment rather than seeking only comfort care
- is feeling isolated or lonely
- needs help finding community services in order to maintain independence
- could use support for a caregiver in need of a break
Who can refer to Transitions?
Anyone can refer to Transitions—the client himself, doctors, social workers, facilities, family members, or friends. A Transitions team member always verifies with the client’s physician that Transitions is appropriate. The client, or a person able to speak on his or her behalf, must ultimately choose Transitions.
What role do volunteers play?
Volunteers extend the work of the case manager, enabling Transitions services to be free for clients.
A team of generous volunteers contribute a rich variety of skills and backgrounds, allowing Transitions
to offer clients a wide range of possibilities for support.
How do Transitions and hospice differ?
Transitions clients may have a longer life expectancy and can still be pursuing curative treatment. Transitions offers support, but no direct care, nor does it cover any expenses related to the illness. In contrast, hospice patients have a six-month prognosis and are no longer receiving active curative treatment. Hospice provides regular care by a clinical team as well as medications related to the terminal diagnosis, equipment, and supplies. Costs for Transitions are covered by grants and donations while costs for hospice are usually paid for by Medicare or private insurance.