Lutheran Senior Services Hospice Care
Evaluating when and how to choose hospice is difficult for anyone facing a life-limiting illness. It’s a time when care and compassion matter most. Scroll down to learn more.
Lutheran Senior Services Hospice Care is a faith-inspired agency with a holistic and comprehensive approach to hospice. Together, our staff has over 100 years’ experience in providing hospice-related services. We have helped many people and their families find a peaceful path through end-of-life concerns, and we can help you too.
Call 314.446.2539, e-mail us today, or scroll down to see all that we offer.
- When life expectancy is six months or less if the illness runs its normal course of progression.
- When treatments emphasizing a cure are no longer effective or become more than the person chooses to bear.
- When the focus of care shifts to pain and symptom relief so the remaining time of life is comfortable.
- When a person suffering from cancer, congestive heart failure, ALS (Lou Gehring’s disease), kidney or liver disease, chronic lung disease, AIDS, and / or a stroke reaches the end-stage of the disease process.
Is there a right time to talk about hospice?
Although it is difficult to talk about, family members should share their wishes about end-of-life care before it is needed. Advance conversations enable the patient to carefully consider this option without duress. Instead, patients can make an educated choice based on the advice of their physician and the input of family members and loved ones.
Once we decide hospice is the best option, what happens next?
- Once a family chooses hospice and a referral is initiated by the patient’s doctor, care planning begins.
- Our staff learns as much about the patient as possible to holistically assess body, mind, and spirit.
- Personalized recommendations regarding pain relief and symptom management are made regarding medications, equipment, supplies, and supportive services.
- Care is implemented as quickly as needed to ensure the comfort and well-being of the patient and family members.
I heard that hospice is only for the last few days of life. Is that true?
No, it’s not. Beginning services sooner means more care for distressing conditions or symptoms. Learning what that entails takes time.
When conditions and symptoms are proactively managed, patients enjoy an improved quality of life. Opportunities for the patient to spend time with friends and family as they choose may be missed if hospice care begins when a patient is actively dying.
The last few days of life are very stressful and filled with emotion. The chaplain, social work services, as well as bereavement care can help reassure the patient, alleviate fears and prepare the family for what to expect.
Where is hospice provided?
- In a private residence.
- In a retirement community.
- In an assisted living facility.
- In a nursing home.
How does hospice care work to keep the patient comfortable?
Keeping the patient comfortable and recognizing what that entails is our focus. During each visit, a nurse assesses the patient’s physical well-being, and talks to that individual, the family, and the caregivers. The information gathered helps reveal if the patient is experiencing distressing symptoms. When pain or discomfort occurs, our staff works to alleviate it.
When we’re not with the patient, a nurse is always available by phone if there is a concern.
From the family of an LSS Hospice Care patient
“At the most difficult and saddest time of my life, all of you were there for me and my family. I feel sure that Michael’s last days were made as comfortable as possible because of your hospice care. I appreciate the sympathy card, signed by all of you with your words of encouragement and will remember you wonderful people with love, the rest of my life.”
Our strongest attribute is our staff. Each member of the LSS Hospice Care team believes wholeheartedly in touching lives and making a difference during a person’s remaining days. Each family we serve becomes part of our family, and by working together we make life and loss as bearable as it can be. In addition, our commitment to well-being extends beyond helping you through this difficult time and continues with an ongoing bereavement program.
Our Promise Is To:
- Communicate openly, honestly and help everyone involved understand what to expect.
- Use our expertise to allow a natural, peaceful, and dignified death.
- Be there to listen, grieve, celebrate life, and show the love of Jesus Christ to all we serve.
Ten Reasons to Choose LSS Hospice Care
- Our staff considers hospice a calling not a job. They are personally committed to the care and comfort of each patient.
- Our care reaches out to all faiths and beliefs and we meet each patient and family where they are spiritually.
- When you need end-of-life care that focuses on body, mind and spirit.
- The care comes to you in the place you call home — in a nursing home, an assisted living community, a senior living residence, or a private home in the community.
- LSS Hospice Care is Medicare and Medicaid certified, and accepts some private insurances.
- Our medical director, Dr. Ehab Kaiser, is board certified in hospice and palliative care.
- We are advocates for the patient and family, providing supportive services for up to a year following your loved one’s death.
- We welcome adults of all ages.
- Our team approach provides outstanding continuity of care, as our staff offers an incredible wealth of experience to focus on end-of-life care.
- Our team works with your personal physician.
LSS Hospice Care proudly serves the following areas: St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson, St. Charles Counties and a portion of Franklin County. Just a few of the communities we serve include:
- St. Louis, Missouri 63103
- Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
- Florissant, Missouri 63031
- Ballwin, Missouri 63021
- O’Fallon, Missouri 63366
- St. Charles, Missouri 63301
- St. Peters, Missouri 63376
- Arnold, Missouri 63010
Hospice is a philosophy of care that embraces a holistic approach to health and well-being. This all-inclusive care focuses not only on physical needs, but also on family relationships, spiritual comfort, and emotional health.
During this time, faith traditions become increasingly important. An LSS Hospice Care Chaplain is always available to offer scripture readings, prayers, rites of confession and absolution, along with any other rituals vital to a person’s beliefs. Our chaplains strive to include each patient’s church community in the care provided, encouraging as much involvement as possible.
And while Lutheran Senior Services is rooted in the Lutheran tradition, our care reaches beyond to all faiths and beliefs, and we meet each patient and family on their own terms.
LSS Hospice Care Chaplain Dennis Wenholz describes his life as progressive, with each of his life experiences leading to the next. He has served as a certified nursing home assistant, a battalion chaplain for the US Army Reserve, and a pastor for congregations in Ohio, Indiana, and Montana. He holds a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary; a BA from Eastern Washington University; and an AAS from Spokane Community College. Chaplain Dennis says, “God has grown my path to be strong, and I rely on Him and the strength given to assist and support individuals and families through the emotional and spiritual challenges that are part of end-of-life.” He lives in the St. Louis area with Kimi, his wife of 21 years, and their sons Timothy and Titus.
Rev. Ed LeClair received his Master’s of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis in 2012. He served his vicarage at Lutheran Senior Services on the Laclede Groves campus and completed five units of Clinical Pastoral Education. He was ordained and installed on August 20, 2012, at Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church in Three Rivers, Michigan. He received the Call from Lutheran Senior Services to serve in the Hospice Ministry that November, and he has joyfully served since January 29, 2014. Ed and his wife Maryann have been married since 1979. They are the parents of Chad and Ryan.
The resources below will help you learn more about a care option that is misunderstood and underutilized.
Take time today to learn about this misunderstood option for end-of-life care. Written by LSS’ Director of Hospice Care Cheri Murphy, RN.
An editorial published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that eloquently explains dying people want truth, touch, and time.
For personal reflections on the difference hospice has made for families, click over to the “Stories” tab on this page, or view some of our videos on YouTube:
Lin’s Story | Vera’s Story | LSS Hospice Care: The Days of Our Journey
Beginning to talk about death and dying takes courage and effort. Unfortunately, it is often considered taboo to discuss, even when there is a need. This piece will help you know that many people who are in this situation are open to the discussion and appreciative of the chance to talk about how they feel.
A thought provoking article from a physician’s perspective which chronicles a young woman’s journey through end-of-life paralleled by an in-depth exploration into how medicine treats those who are dying.
A comprehensive website that provides information and support when planning ahead, caring for a loved one, living with a life-limiting illness or grieving a loss.
From Families We’ve Served
- “This is the third time within the past four years I’ve dealt with a hospice service. By far, the LSS team is above the rest in terms of quality of service. We were blessed to have Sharon as our hospice nurse. She is one of the many angels here on earth. I thank God for sending her. I wish I would have had someone like her for my son.”
- “I liked how my mother was treated. The fact that she was dying wasn’t the focus–instead they focused on her time left on earth. Thank you to Margaret and Linda, the staff who were in contact. I wish that the medical staff at the hospital had spoken more freely with us about hospice care sooner.”
From More Families We’ve Served
- “The team was very good at communicating with our loved one even when she couldn’t speak. They talked with her anyway and were able to discern her needs and discomfort.”
- “Thank you for the lovely celebration service. The candle lighting and the reading of the names were special reminders, and it was good to see the familiar faces of those who devotedly cared for Frank as they served us dinner. This event was a positive closure for a difficult ordeal.”
- “On behalf of my husband and our children, I extend our heartfelt thanks for the loving support you gave to Josephine, and to all of us. Having you there meant a great deal to us. May you receive back in full measure all the comfort you have given to us, and to so many others.”
LSS Hospice Care is always seeking caring and compassionate volunteers to assist patients and their families in a number of ways. Look below for some ideas of how you can help:
- Companionship – friendly visits, casual conversations, reading books or the newspapers, or writing letters
- Support for families – grocery shopping, running errands, or other necessary household tasks that caregivers would perform under normal circumstances
- Sitting with patients – providing a caregiver with needed time away from the house
- Office support – typing, filing, and other administrative tasks
- Other – please contact us if you have a particular talent or interest you’d like to share (playing a musical instrument, caring for a family pet, etc.)
We match each volunteer with patients and their families depending upon skills, interests, and availability. To make sure you are comfortable, a thorough orientation to volunteering for a hospice agency is provided.
For more information or to volunteer, please click the button below or contact us at 314.446.2528 or via e-mail.
Your situation is unique. Your care should be too. As you explore hospice as an option, you may have further questions or want to inquire specifically about initiating care. An LSS Hospice Care nurse is always available to speak to you personally so that you get the answers you need. Just call 314.446.2539 anytime.
The number above is answered 24/7. During business hours, you’ll reach our office directly. During evenings and on weekends, you’ll reach our answering service which will relay your name and number to our on-call nurse, who will call you back as soon as possible.
Families who reside in St. Louis city and county as well as St. Charles and Jefferson counties, and a portion of Franklin county can choose LSS Hospice Care as their provider.
LSS Hospice Care is under the leadership of…
Director of LSS Hospice Care
Cheri Murphy, RN, director of Hospice Care, joined LSS in 2007 because she strongly believes our organization lives its mission and for the opportunity it gave her to start a faith-based hospice agency. She graduated from St. Louis Community College at Meramec in 1992 and has over 14 years experience working in home health and hospice. Her favorite pastime is being a grandma to her grandchildren. Hospice is her passion because it gives caregivers the ability to spend as much time with patients as they need.