Paradigm Health Providing Palliative and Hospice Care When Its Needed During Caregiving Transitions

In midsummer 2021, Seymour Zwirn began to experience some difficulties and after extensive testing was diagnosed with masses in his brain and right lung. For Zwirn, surgery or further clinical treatment was not something he desired.  

“Once dad decided that he was not going to seek further treatment, we began to search for a hospice provider that would be a good fit for his caregiving goals and for our family caregivers as well,” said Zwirn’s daughter Judy Kellett. “The assisted living facility dad is in highly recommended Paradigm Health and they have gone above and beyond when it comes to his care.” 

Zwirn qualified for hospice care in 2021 and Paradigm Health began a holistic caregiving plan built around enriching his life each day. The Paradigm Health team included a registered hospice nurse, an aid for assistance with showering, a social worker, and regular weekly visits from a chaplain and music therapist.  

“I’ve been there when the music therapist plays her guitar and sings and we all sing right along,” says Kellett. “I know music therapy isn’t offered by many hospice providers, but it just shows how Paradigm Health understands that mind-body-spirit connection is so important. We all sing and clap at the end and it is just an uplifting experience.”  

At some point in Zwirn’s hospice care, his symptoms began to stabilize, and it was determined he would shift off hospice care but would require care of some kind. Because of Paradigm Health’s continuum of care – he was able to transition back to palliative care seamlessly.  

“There are times when a patient who had previously qualified for hospice care with us shifts to a more stabilized prognosis and is able to transition off of hospice care,” says Paradigm Health Director of Palliative Care Kari Haberman. “For our patients, we can offer a seamless transition to palliative care with us but it is always a choice the patient has to make.”  

Haberman shares that during the time a patient is on palliative care the Paradigm Health team is diligent to document a trail of symptom management and to document those minute details in a patient’s decline so that when it may be necessary for the patient to transition back to hospice the history is in place. Hospice care is completely covered by Medicare, so having a solid documentation recap can assist a patient when qualifying for hospice benefits. 

“During palliative care, we can paint a picture in detail of the patient’s symptoms and perhaps decline in order to facilitate a return to hospice care as soon as they might qualify,” says Haberman. “Our goal is to make sure our patients have the ability to maximize their hospice care benefit for as long as possible with the goal of enriching each day.”  

For Zwirn, his journey from hospice to palliative and most recently back to hospice care has been one that Paradigm Health has walked with him.  

“The communication from the Paradigm Health staff has just been something we’ve come to depend on,” says Kellett. “On their visits they check in at the facility welcome area, learn anything they can from the staff, visit with Dad and get a true picture of where he is that day and how he’s been feeling, and then share that report with the facility and us. By really taking the time to document how Dad is doing and/or any changes that are going on has really helped us know exactly what care he should be getting and when.”