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Continuum Care

Cancer Insights

Hope
The Nature of Cancer

Cancer Risk Factors
  

Health Restoration & Quality of Life
 
 
Oncological Emergencies
 
 

ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well.

 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1500 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones.

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

 

Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence.


Continuum Care Virgin Islands
"A Special kind of Caring"  

 

 

CCI  Medical Directors:

 

Preston Dalglish, MD

Gemain Owen, MD

 

 Best of the Virgin Islands

 

Oncological

Emergencies


 

 

The "Cancer Insight" series have thus far presented an overview of the nature of cancer, some of its treatments, chemotherapy side effects, and quality of life issues. This final article will delve into some of the emergencies arising from cancer itself, from cancer treatment, or from both. While the following emergencies do not constitute a complete list, they do cover a broad spectrum of situations that could occur. It is important to remember that these emergencies may never occur. In most cases, they do not. However, to be "forewarned is to be forearmed".   Should any of the following emergencies occur, familiarity with its symptoms dramatically improves one's chances for a favorable outcome, since early recognition allows for early intervention. Because this article is written primarily for the public (as opposed to the medical profession), signs and symptoms discussed will be those that the patient can recognize in or him/her self.   Clinical assessments and interpretations either through labs, other diagnostics, or professional observations will not be covered.

 

 

A tumor, which is a swelling or new growth, can be either benign or malignant. A malignant tumor is cancer. There is no such thing as a benign cancer. Cancer and malignancy are synonymous.   In this article, unless specified otherwise, the word tumor will refer to malignant tumor, cancer. Depending on the type of tissue involved, other names for cancer that are frequently seen are carcinoma or sarcoma.

 

The only way to accurately diagnose cancer is by a biopsy in which the suspected cancer cells are sent to a laboratory for examination by a pathologist. In the event of a confirmed diagnosis, it is helpful for the patient and family to be familiar with some of the terms that will suddenly be bandied about by doctors and others involved in his/ her cancer care.

 

The first task that will need to be addressed by the oncologist (cancer doctor) is to determine the type, grade, and stage of the cancer in order to treat it appropriately. There are several ways of classifying type, grade and stage, and, subsets to each, but in the interest of clarity and simplicity, this article will refer to the type of cancer as the organ of origin (e.g. prostate cancer, lung cancer, etc...), the grade as the level of aggressiveness of the tumor based on the degree of differentiation (well differentiated, moderately differentiated, poorly differentiated and undifferentiated) of its cells, and, the stage as a simple Stage 1, Stage2, Stage 3, and Stage 4, signifying the progression of the disease (how far it has advanced or spread).

 

 
 
                  

Focus on Living

 When cancer strikes, often the initial reaction is disbelief, confusion, and fear.  Additionally, one is suddenly bombarded with new responsibilities, and seemingly overwhelming medical schedules.  In that setting, it is difficult to absorb helpful information, or to envision a happy outcome.  However, such an outcome is not only possible, but often probable. 

Arming oneself with an arsenal of pertinent information can literally be the difference between life and death, between sickness and health, and, between despair and a happy, productive life.  The optimum time to acquire the information is before cancer is even in one's horizon.  This opportunity though, is not always possible.  Since it is never too late to add to one's repertoire of helpful information, Continuum Care Newsletter has presented"Cancer Insights".

 

Topics covered in "Cancer Insights" have ranged from understanding what cancer is, and its various types of treatment, to preventing or managing chemotherapy side effects.  Information will also be given on recognizing Oncological (cancer) emergencies, and when to call the doctor. The goal of this series has been to improve one's quality of life through knowledge.  "Cancer Insights" is geared not only to the person confronted with cancer, but also to their families, loved ones, and caregivers.

 

In keeping with its philosophy of bringing comfort, dignity and the highest quality of life possible, Continuum Care hopes that the information gleaned from the four Cancer Insights articles will meet that goal by enriching one's life during the cancer experience.   

 

-Gwendolyn Skeoch

 

Continuum Care Circle of Care


Health Restoration and Quality of Life

posted Jun 4, 2012, 5:54 AM by Unknown user

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Continuum Care

Cancer Insights

Hope
Nature of Cancer jpg

Risk Factos
"Health Restoration & Quality of Life"

ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well.

 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1500 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones.

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

 

Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence.


Continuum Care Virgin Islands
"A Special kind of Caring"  

 

 

CCI  Medical Directors:

 

Preston Dalglish, MD

Gemain Owen, MD

 

 

Health Restoration &
Quality of Life

 

 

The previous Cancer Insight articles presented glimpses into understanding and preventing cancer. However, in spite of one's best efforts, cancer may occur. One of the most valuable things a person can do to help him/herself is to regularly check for cancer, and to consult a doctor at the first suspicious sign.  Cancer has the best prognosis when detected and treated early. Early detection is facilitated by familiarizing oneself with the following:

Cancer's Seven Early Warning Signals (C-A-U-T-I-O-N)

                                                               

 Change in bowel or bladder habits

                   A sore that does not heal

                   Unusual Bleeding or discharge

                   Thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere

                   Obvious change in mole or wart

                   Nagging cough or hoarseness

 

A tumor, which is a swelling or new growth, can be either benign or malignant. A malignant tumor is cancer. There is no such thing as a benign cancer. Cancer and malignancy are synonymous.   In this article, unless specified otherwise, the word tumor will refer to malignant tumor, cancer. Depending on the type of tissue involved, other names for cancer that are frequently seen are carcinoma or sarcoma.

The only way to accurately diagnose cancer is by a biopsy in which the suspected cancer cells are sent to a laboratory for examination by a pathologist. In the event of a confirmed diagnosis, it is helpful for the patient and family to be familiar with some of the terms that will suddenly be bandied about by doctors and others involved in his/ her cancer care.

The first task that will need to be addressed by the oncologist (cancer doctor) is to determine the type, grade, and stage of the cancer in order to treat it appropriately. There are several ways of classifying type, grade and stage, and, subsets to each, but in the interest of clarity and simplicity, this article will refer to the type of cancer as the organ of origin (e.g. prostate cancer, lung cancer, etc...), the grade as the level of aggressiveness of the tumor based on the degree of differentiation (well differentiated, moderately differentiated, poorly differentiated and undifferentiated) of its cells, and, the stage as a simple Stage 1, Stage2, Stage 3, and Stage 4, signifying the progression of the disease (how far it has advanced or spread).

 

 
 

Focus on Living

 When cancer strikes, often the initial reaction is disbelief, confusion, and fear.  Additionally, one is suddenly bombarded with new responsibilities, and seemingly overwhelming medical schedules.  In that setting, it is difficult to absorb helpful information, or to envision a happy outcome.  However, such an outcome is not only possible, but often probable. 

Arming oneself with an arsenal of pertinent information can literally be the difference between life and death, between sickness and health, and, between despair and a happy, productive life.  The optimum time to acquire the information is before cancer is even in one's horizon.  This opportunity though, is not always possible.  Since it is never too late to add to one's repertoire of helpful information, Continuum Care Newsletter has presented"Cancer Insights".

 

Topics covered in "Cancer Insights" have ranged from understanding what cancer is, and its various types of treatment, to preventing or managing chemotherapy side effects.  Information will also be given on recognizing Oncological (cancer) emergencies, and when to call the doctor. The goal of this series has been to improve one's quality of life through knowledge.  "Cancer Insights" is geared not only to the person confronted with cancer, but also to their families, loved ones, and caregivers.

 

In keeping with its philosophy of bringing comfort, dignity and the highest quality of life possible, Continuum Care hopes that the information gleaned from the four Cancer Insights articles will meet that goal by enriching one's life during the cancer experience.   

 

-Gwendolyn Skeoch

 

Continuum Care Named "Best of the Virgin Islands" for 4th Consecutive Year!

posted May 16, 2012, 8:17 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 16, 2012, 8:24 PM ]

Cancer Risk Factors

posted Jan 4, 2012, 9:45 AM by Unknown user

Continuum Care

Cancer Insights

Hope
Nature of Cancer jpg

Risk Factos
Next Featured Article:
"Health Restoration & Quality of Life"

ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well.

 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1500 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones.

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

 

Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence.

Best of the Virgin Islands 
Continuum Care Virgin Islands
"A Special kind of Caring"  

 

Risk Factos

 

 

A person is made up of organs (brain, heart, lungs, etc...); organs are made up of specialized tissue; and tissue is comprised of specialized cells specific to that tissue and organ. The cells that make up the various organs in a person are the basic microscopic units which function as specialized entities to do the work of the organ to which it belongs. (For example, a lung cell works for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.  A liver cell specializes in detoxifying various metabolites. A kidney cell takes part in an efficient filtration system regulating the excretion and retention of water and electrolytes in order to maintain the proper hydration and acid/ base balance needed for the life of the body.)  Way back in the line of development, these specialized cells originate from stem cells.

There are different types of stem cells but they all share a few common traits.  Two of the most common stem cell traits are, to varying degrees, stem cells have the ability to self -renew for an indefinite amount of time, and, all stem cells can begin the process of undergoing cell division and multiplication (mitosis) wherein each division produces a more specialized (differentiated) cell. 

 

Three types of stem cells are totipotent stem cells, pluripotent stem cells, and, multipotent stem cells.    The totipotent stem cell is the most versatile of the three.  They have total potential because they are totally uncommitted, and therefore can give rise to any kind of cell.  Additionally, they are the only type of stem cell that can give rise to not only a specialized cell, but also an entire organism.   Totipotent cells are seen in the earliest of embryonic setting, (for the first four days after the sperm and egg have united).   After that period totipotent stem cells then give rise to the pluripotent stem cell.

A pluripotent stem cell is slightly more mature and committed than the totipotent cell, but still has vast potential power.  It cannot differentiate (develop) into a complete organism (as can the totipotent stem cell), but it can differentiate into almost any cell of the body. 

The multipotent stem cell has less potential than the above two stem cells, since the multipotent stem cell is slightly more mature (specialized) and is committed to a certain group of cells.  For example, the multipotent stem cell may be a bloodline stem cell, whereby it could develop into any one of the many kinds of white blood cells, or platelets, or  red blood cells; but, if it were a bloodline stem cell, it couldn't also develop into cells of  another type of organ (as can the pluripotent and totipotent stem cells).

Being primitive, immature, and undifferentiated (undeveloped or unspecialized), and as such  uncommitted, stem cells  can  develop (or "differentiate")  into different types of cell, by undergoing many divisions and multiplications, each time becoming more specialized.  Stem cell activity is carefully regulated by the body, and therefore normal stem cells act only in response to certain signals given by the body.  For instance, should a person start to hemorrhage and suddenly need new blood cells, hematopoetic (blood) stem cells will begin to divide and multiply into the appropriate cells needed. 

 

And then there is the cancer stem cell.... 

 

 
 

Focus on Living

 When cancer strikes, often the initial reaction is disbelief, confusion, and fear.  Additionally, one is suddenly bombarded with new responsibilities, and seemingly overwhelming medical schedules.  In that setting, it is difficult to absorb helpful information, or to envision a happy outcome.  However, such an outcome is not only possible, but often probable. 

Arming oneself with an arsenal of pertinent information can literally be the difference between life and death, between sickness and health, and, between despair and a happy, productive life.  The optimum time to acquire the information is before cancer is even in one's horizon.  This opportunity though, is not always possible.  Since it is never too late to add to one's repertoire of helpful information, Continuum Care Newsletter will now offer, for the following four months, a monthly section entitled "Cancer Insights".

 

Topics covered in "Cancer Insights" will range from understanding what cancer is, and its various types of treatment, to preventing or managing chemotherapy side effects.  Information will also be given on recognizing Oncological (cancer) emergencies, and when to call the doctor. The goal of this series is to improve one's quality of life through knowledge.  "Cancer Insights" is geared not only to the person confronted with cancer, but also to their families, loved ones, and caregivers.

 

In keeping with its philosophy of bringing comfort, dignity and the highest quality of life possible, Continuum Care hopes that the information gleaned from the four Cancer Insights articles will meet that goal by enriching one's life during the cancer experience.  Look for the next article to explore the nature of cancer and its varying treatments. 

 

-Gwendolyn Skeoch

Gwen Skeoch Bio

The Nature of Cancer

posted Jan 4, 2012, 9:44 AM by Unknown user

Continuum Care

Cancer Insights

Hope

ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well.

 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1500 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones.

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

 

Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence.

Best of the Virgin Islands 
Continuum Care Virgin Islands
"A Special kind of Caring"  

 

Nature of Cancer jpg

 

Understanding why cancer operates the way in which it does, helps us to fight it more effectively.  In a nutshell, cancer is a group of diseases characterized by mutated, dysfunctional and disorganized cells, which exhibit uncontrolled growth, and have the ability to invade and destroy nearby tissue and distant organs (metastasis).  The development of cancer occurs through genetic and environmental influences acting on our normal cells causing them to transform. Those transformed (mutated) cells acquire the ability to make their own blood supply (angiogenesis), allowing the cluster of newly formed, mutated cells (neoplasm) to grow rapidly. These new abnormal cells keep going through further mutations (structural changes in the genes of the cell's DNA ) every time they divide and replicate (every few hours or days). While the new cells become more dysfunctional to the host (person), they gain additional harmful characteristics allowing the cluster to flourish and proliferate.    Among other things, the neoplastic cells (now also known as malignant or cancer cells) acquire the properties of motility, invasion, adherence, and metastasis, while losing the behavior of normal cells which are regulated by contact inhibition, apoptosis (normal, programmed cell death), and adhering to itself. Normal cells stick to each other, stop multiplying when they bump into other cells (contact inhibition), and have a scheduled cell death when they are worn out (apotosis).   Cancer cells, instead of sticking to their own group of cells, drop off and adhere to a nearby different type of tissue, start growing and invading that tissue, and don't die.  They multiply faster than normal cells and crowd out the healthy functioning cells.   If, for instance, this took place in the bone marrow where blood cells are made, the person would either have too little of healthy functioning platelets, red, or white cells, or, they might have an abnormally high count of any or all of those blood cells, but the cells would be rapidly dividing immature cells, unable to perform the needed function of that organ. Consequently, the person may be (anywhere from a minor to a severe life threatening degree) anemic, prone to infections, or to uncontrolled bleeding. 

 
 

Focus on Living

 When cancer strikes, often the initial reaction is disbelief, confusion, and fear.  Additionally, one is suddenly bombarded with new responsibilities, and seemingly overwhelming medical schedules.  In that setting, it is difficult to absorb helpful information, or to envision a happy outcome.  However, such an outcome is not only possible, but often probable. 

Arming oneself with an arsenal of pertinent information can literally be the difference between life and death, between sickness and health, and, between despair and a happy, productive life.  The optimum time to acquire the information is before cancer is even in one's horizon.  This opportunity though, is not always possible.  Since it is never too late to add to one's repertoire of helpful information, Continuum Care Newsletter will now offer, for the following four months, a monthly section entitled "Cancer Insights".

 

Topics covered in "Cancer Insights" will range from understanding what cancer is, and its various types of treatment, to preventing or managing chemotherapy side effects.  Information will also be given on recognizing Oncological (cancer) emergencies, and when to call the doctor. The goal of this series is to improve one's quality of life through knowledge.  "Cancer Insights" is geared not only to the person confronted with cancer, but also to their families, loved ones, and caregivers.

 

In keeping with its philosophy of bringing comfort, dignity and the highest quality of life possible, Continuum Care hopes that the information gleaned from the four Cancer Insights articles will meet that goal by enriching one's life during the cancer experience.  Look for the next article to explore the nature of cancer and its varying treatments. 

 

-Gwendolyn Skeoch

Gwen Skeoch Bio

Cancer Insights

posted Jan 4, 2012, 9:42 AM by Unknown user

Continuum Care

Cancer Insights

Hope

ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well.

 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1500 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones.

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

 

Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence.

Best of the Virgin Islands 
Continuum Care Virgin Islands
"A Special kind of Caring"  

 

Cancer is oftentimes one the the most frightening words in our language.   Educating ourselves against this scourge is our best possible line of defense.  Cancer is a chronic disease that is the second leading cause of death in both the United States and the Virgin Islands. The Cancer Facts and Figures from the American Cancer Society states, that "cancer accounts for one in every five deaths in the United States, and one in every three Americans alive today will eventually develop cancer." The mortality data in the Virgin Islands mirror national trends, with Breast and Prostate cancers being the most common for female and male deaths due to cancer. 

 

We have all experienced a friend, a loved one, or ourselves, having to wage the battle of cancer.   Due to the increasingly high incidence rates of cancer in the Virgin Islands, Continuum Care is launching a series of newsletters which will be devoted to the prevention, education, awareness, treatment and care of cancers, featuring contributions and insights offered by St. Croix' own Gwen Skeoch, nationally certified oncology nurse and noted author. 

Focus on Living

 When cancer strikes, often the initial reaction is disbelief, confusion, and fear.  Additionally, one is suddenly bombarded with new responsibilities, and seemingly overwhelming medical schedules.  In that setting, it is difficult to absorb helpful information, or to envision a happy outcome.  However, such an outcome is not only possible, but often probable. 

Arming oneself with an arsenal of pertinent information can literally be the difference between life and death, between sickness and health, and, between despair and a happy, productive life.  The optimum time to acquire the information is before cancer is even in one's horizon.  This opportunity though, is not always possible.  Since it is never too late to add to one's repertoire of helpful information, Continuum Care Newsletter will now offer, for the following four months, a monthly section entitled "Cancer Insights".

 

Topics covered in "Cancer Insights" will range from understanding what cancer is, and its various types of treatment, to preventing or managing chemotherapy side effects.  Information will also be given on recognizing Oncological (cancer) emergencies, and when to call the doctor. The goal of this series is to improve one's quality of life through knowledge.  "Cancer Insights" is geared not only to the person confronted with cancer, but also to their families, loved ones, and caregivers.

 

In keeping with its philosophy of bringing comfort, dignity and the highest quality of life possible, Continuum Care hopes that the information gleaned from the following four articles will meet that goal by enriching one's life during the cancer experience.  Look for next month's article to explore the nature of cancer and it varying treatments. 

 

-Gwendolyn Skeoch

Gwen Skeoch Bio

 

CCI Newsletter: Who Decides? How to talk to your Healthcare Provider.

posted Jul 19, 2011, 11:01 AM by Unknown user

ccielogo2

Who Decides?  

Don't leave your family with questions 
Continuum Care believes that information empowers, and also knows how important it is to provide our patients with the most empowerment possible to make informed decisions as to the quality of their end of life care.  

Attached (links below) are some valuable resources we are providing you to educate yourself on your choices, your rights and ultimately your decisions.  

(Please note availability in both English and Spanish on most documents.)


Help

Sample Language for Health Care Directives

 

Living Will Information  

 

Definitions to Know (English) 

 

Definitions to Know (Spanish) 

 

Advance Directive (English) 

 

Advance Directive (Spanish)  

Best Of 09-10-11


 

ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE


Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well.

 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1000 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones.

 

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

 

 

Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence.

_____________________
 
Continuum Care, Inc.
St. Croix
340.718.LOVE (5683) - ph
340.718.7632 - fax

St. Thomas/St. John
340.714.CARE (2273) - ph
340.714.2280 - fax 

How to Talk with Your Healthcare Providers

Talking with your doctor or healthcare providers about your end-of-life wishes is a discussion to have before a crisis occurs. Chances are that he or she is waiting for you to start the conversation. 

When you discuss your concerns and choices:

  • Ask your doctor to explain treatments and procedures that may seem confusing before you complete your directives.
  • Talk about pain management options.
  • Let your doctor know that you are completing your advance directives.
  • Make sure your doctor is willing to follow your directives. The law does not force physicians to follow directives if they disagree with your wishes for moral or ethical reasons.
  • Give your doctor a copy of your completed directives. Make sure your doctor knows the name and telephone number of your appointed healthcare agent.
  • Assure your doctor that your family and your appointed healthcare agent know your wishes.

You may ask your doctor specifically:

  • Will you talk openly and candidly with me and my family about my illness?
  • What decisions will my family and I have to make, and what kinds of recommendations will you give to help us make these decisions?
  • What will you do if I have a lot of pain or other uncomfortable symptoms?
  • How will you help us find excellent professionals with special training when we need them (e.g., medical, surgical and palliative care specialists, faith leader, social workers, etc.)?
  • Will you let me know if treatment stops working so that my family and I can make appropriate decisions?
  • Will you still be available to me even when I am close to the end of my life?

What do you need to know?

 

ADVANCE DIRECTIVES

Advance Directive- A written document (form) that tells what a person wants or doesn't want if he/she in the future can't make his/her wishes known about medical treatment.

 

Continuum Care believes in helping our patients in every way possible.  While discussing end-of-life care and plans is not a topic that many of us are comfortable in discussing, it is of utmost importance.  Who better than ourselves know what we truly want our final days to be?  Who better than ourselves know how we want our end-of-life care and treatment to be managed?

 

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. Advance directives center around the principles of your right to die with dignity.

 

We at CCI know that preparing an advance directive involves more than simply filling out a form. The time you spend thinking about the kind of care you want, or don't want, and discussing your wishes with your family and loved ones is much more meaningful than simply checking off boxes on a form.

 

 

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.


As part of Continuum Care's expanded services, we can provide training on Living Wills and Advance Directives to small groups upon request.  Contact us to further discuss this service, or should you have questions.

Living Wills &

Advance Medical Directives


What Is An Advance Directive?

An Advance Directive is a general term that describes two types of legal documents that speak for you in the event of incapacity:

 

Living Will
Medical Power of Attorney

 

·  A Living Will allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatments at the end of life.

 

·  A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a person you trust as your health care agent, who is authorized to make decisions on your behalf.

 

Start The Conversation:

Good advance planning for health care decisions is a continuing conversation about:

  • values
  • priorities
  • the meaning of one's life
  • quality of life

 

Communication Is The Key:

Studies have shown advance directive forms do little to influence end of life decisions without

informed, thoughtful reflection about your wishes and values. Personal communication between the patient and the likely decision makers before a crisis occurs.

 

Concepts For Talking About Health Care Issues

:

How do you want to be treated?
Are there treatments you want to receive or refuse?
What are you afraid might happen if you can't make decisions for yourself?
Do you have any fears about the medical treatments you may want to receive?
What is frightening to you?
What do some phrases actually mean to you?
  • no heroic measures
  • dying with dignity

Who defines these terms? What do they mean?

 

How To Select A Health Care Proxy:

There are several things to think about. Name one person to serve at a time. Choose one successor or back-up person in case the first person is not available when needed.

CCF Newsletter: Hospice Regatta Big Success & Big Fun!

posted Jul 19, 2011, 10:58 AM by Unknown user

Continuum Care Foundation

Sailing For Others  

Big Success

& Big Fun! 

Regatta 2011
photo by: Antonio Miro
 
Dear Friends of Continuum Care,

 

The St. Croix Hospice Regatta was a terrific event!  We had many individuals come by the Continuum Care table to learn more about hospice and share their positive stories about how hospice has touched their lives - both our STX hospice program as well as stateside hospices.

 

More Good News: Our medical tent only had to dispense band aids and Advil - no injuries!

 

Thank you to our great team - for being out there to support Continuum Care and our efforts to provide assistance for our uninsured hospice patients. We're already planning for next year!

 

Special Thanks and Kudos go out to our staff and volunteers that went so above and beyond the call: 

  • Heidi Mathewson, RN, Administrator for St. Thomas         and St. John
  • Theresa Haney, RN, Administrator, St. Croix
  • Coleridge Franklin, MD, Medical Director, St. Croix
  • Dante Galiber, MD, Cardiologist
  • Gayle Strid, RN, CCI
  • Linda Gryce, RN, CCI
  • Nitza Jones Ayala, Data Technician, CCI
  • Anne-lise Peets, CNA/Receptionist, CCI
  • Kathyrn Collins, RN, JFLH
  • Rikki Nelthropp, RN, VIMI
  • Vera Falu, Deputy Commissioner, Human Services
  • Kendall Stewart, Community Volunteer
  • Rebecca Walter, Community Volunteer
  • Jason Simmons, Community Volunteer

 

 

With heartfelt thanks,

Tracy

 

Tracy Sanders, Founder

Continuum Care Virgin Islands 

Smooth Sailing During Weekend's Hospice Regatta

by Bill Kossler - Feb 14, 2011 - St. Croix Source

Top finisher in spinnaker class: "Boogaloo"
Top finisher in spinnaker class - Boogaloo (foreground). (Photo Bill Kossler)


Two days of beautiful sailing weather and friendly, if stiff, competition-and raising awareness and cash for a worthy cause-made the second annual St. Croix Yacht Club Hospice Regatta and Optimist Regatta this weekend a booming success.

 

"The weather was beautiful, with very consistent, due-east winds right down the channel," said race spokesman Richard Biffle on Monday.

 

There was a big turnout, with about 22 large-keel   

boats and 17 or 18 smaller Optimist sailing vessels piloted by youth sailers, Biffle said. Racers came from St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and elsewhere, he said.   

 

Click here to Read Full Article 

Regatta season starts with St. Croix Regatta                                                                                       BY SEAN MCCOY (DAILY NEWS STAFF)                  Published: February 14, 2011

St. Croix Hospice Regatta
St. Croix Hospice Regatta

 

 

Steady, consistent winds and clear skies made for perfect conditions for the St. Croix Yacht Club's Hospice Regatta this weekend.

 

The regatta, which is also the first leg of the Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit, also known as CORC, raises funds to help uninsured hospice patients.

 Click Here To Read Full Article 


CCIVI
Featured Article
Continuum Care Foundation

"Tracy Sanders, founder and president of the hospice provider Continuum Care, said that the regatta has raised funds to help uninsured hospice patients in the Virgin Islands."

 

"Upward of 30 percent of our population has no health insurance," Sanders said. "A big part is also to raise awareness that we're here."

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Hospice Regatta
Visit St. Croix Yacht Club Hospice Regatta
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CCI Newsletter: Sailing for Others 2011--Hospice Regatta

posted Jul 19, 2011, 10:57 AM by Unknown user

ccielogo2
Continuum Care

 
Quick Links

Continuum Care knows that information empowers, and also knows how important it is to provide our patients with the most empowerment possible to make informed decisions as to the quality of their end of life care.  Attached (links below) are some valuable resources we are providing you to educate yourself on your choices, your rights and ultimately your decisions.  (Please note availability in both English and Spanish on most documents.)

 

Health Care Directives Information


Living Will Information

Definitions to Know (english)

Definitions to Know (spanish)

Advance Directive (english)

Advance Directive (spanish)

 



Best of the VI 2009 2010


Continuum Care, Inc.

 

St. Croix

340.718.LOVE (5683) - ph

340.718.7632 - fax

 
St. Thomas/St. John

340.714.CARE (2273) - ph

340.714.2280 - fax



 

Hospice RegattaSave the Date -- We're Sailing for Others!
 

As of the 2010 St. Croix Yacht Club  Hospice Regatta, the members of the SCYC decided to modify their approach and focus of their decades long International Regatta, and combine the love of sailing with the growing need to provide awareness as well as funding for the non-profit Continuum Care Foundation.  Funds raised are earmarked to purchase much needed supplies, equipment and medication to enable Continuum Care to continue to provide end of life services to  uninsured or under-insured regardless of ability to pay.  

Becoming part of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance, 2010's first St. Croix Hospice Regatta was successful in assisting Continuum Care in creating a level of awareness of the ever-growing need for end of life care in the Virgin Islands.  It is the hope that the Feb. 11-13th, 2011 event will be even bigger and better than last year's.  


Continuum Care's founder and president, Tracy Sanders, states  "In order to reach this goal it is necessary to create awareness, provide education, as well as to solicit both corporate and private sector funding and sponsorship to enable care for all.  With support for events such as the Hospice Regatta, the all-important goal of providing compassionate care for every member of our community is reachable." 

With your support, it can be!

How You Can Help

Continuum Care Foundation's work is supported by our Board of Directors, volunteers and committees, and by sponsorships. Willing hands, money and in-kind contributions all help us fulfill our mission.  

 

To learn more about how you can help, contact us at:

info@ccivi.com  

or, call us at 340.718.LOVE (5683)

Continuum Care Foundation holds 501(c)3 non-profit status, qualifying donations to be tax deductible. 

ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE 

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well. 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1000 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones. 
 
At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.
 
Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence. 

Contact Continuum Care for more information on helping improve the way loved ones experience the final years and months of life. Continuum Care has community outreach resources to help your organization:

  • Inform people about advance care planning, living with an illness, caregiving, hospice and grief support.
  • Provide instruction to volunteer caregivers through CCI's 'Helping Hands' educational initiative.
  • Develop new or enhanced community partnerships to assist with end of life care.
     

CCI Newsletter: When Grief Comes Home for the Holidays.

posted Jul 19, 2011, 10:55 AM by Unknown user

ccielogo2
candlescluster                       Newsletter
HandsLogo
Quick Links

Continuum Care's Guidelines for Grief


A Guide to Grief


Grief is a normal response to loss. It can be the loss of a home, job, marriage or a love one.  Often the most painful loss is the death of a person you love, whether from a long illness or from an accident or an act of violence.


These guides will help you understand the grief you and others may feel after a death, whether sudden or anticipated.  We hope these guides will help you realize that these feelings are not unusual and things can get better.  You are not alone.

 

I will Light Candles this Christmas 
by Howard Thurman



I will light Candles this Christmas;


Candles of joy despite all sadness,

 
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,


Candles of courage for fears ever present,


Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,

Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,

Candles of love to inspire all my living,

Candles that will burn all the year long.




Best of the VI 2009 2010


Continuum Care, Inc.

St. Croix
340.718.LOVE (5683) - ph
340.718.7632 - fax

St. Thomas/St. John

340.714.CARE (2273) - ph
340.714.2280 - fax



When Grief Comes Home for the Holidays

If you've recently lost a loved one, your first holiday without them can be like opening up a painful wound all over again. Holidays, which are traditional times to gather together with family and friends, can be a painful reminder of someone who isn't with you anymore. 

Take a deep breath. You are not alone. And there are ways to get through this. It will not be simple, easy or carefree. But you can get through it. The sharp edges will start to heal, and then you will find ways to move that healing along a bit more every time an occasion comes up.  

Continuum Care believes in helping our patients, and their families, in every way possible.  Grief counseling is part of Continuum Care's expanded services.  We can provide counseling and referrals upon request. Contact us to further discuss this service, or should you have questions.
 

Coping With Holiday Grief

This time of year there is such a dilemma between the need to grieve and the pressure to get into the spirit of the season. Holiday or not, we encourage you to find ways to take care of yourselves. Here are just a few suggestions that may help.


1. Plan ahead as to where and how you will spend your time during the holidays. Let yourself scale back on activities if you want or need to. Redefine your holiday expectations. This is a year of transition where you will be saying good-bye to some rituals and hello to new ones.


2. Select a candle in your loved one's favorite color and scent. Place it in an area of your home and light it at times that are meaningful to you or have it burning all day long. This can signify the love that lives on in your heart for the person who has died.


3. Please give yourself permission to express your feelings. If you feel the urge to cry, let the rears flow. Tears are healing. It is a proven scientific fact that certain chemicals in our tears are natural pain relievers.


4. Shakespeare once said, "Give sorrow words..." Write a letter to your loved one stating what you are honestly feeling toward him or her at this time of year. After you write it you may place it somewhere for safe keeping, leave it at the memorial site or decide to let go of it in some manner symbolically honoring their passing.


5. When you are especially missing your loved one, call a family member or dear friend and share your feelings. If they knew him or her, consider asking them to share some of their memories of that person. This does not have to be long but a way of honoring the process of saying good-bye and remembering what was.


6. If you live within driving distance of the cemetery, decorate the site with a holiday theme. This can include flowers, garlands, ribbons, evergreens, etc. This year in particular may be a time you may allow yourself to remember and cherish the holiday experiences you had with your loved one. It is also a way to cherish the time with your remaining family members.


7. Play music that is comforting and meaningful to you. Allow yourself a few moments to close your eyes and let the music soothe your spirit.


8. Give money you would have spent for gifts for your loved one to a charity in their name, buy gifts for a child or person who would normally not receive a gift during the holiday time, or dedicate money to a library or dedicate a book in their name.


9. Read a book or article on grief. One suggestion is "Don't Take My Grief Away" by Doug manning. Another is "The Comfort Book For Those Who Mourn" by Anna Trimiew. For those who like C.S. Lewis, read "A Grief Observed"


10. Remember the reality that the anticipation of the holidays without your loved one is often harder than the actual holiday's themselves.


Adapted from "Ten Ways to Cope with Holiday Grief" by L.B. Schultz


Grief and the Holidays

Advice from Hospice Foundation of America



President Obama Signs National Hospice Month Proclamation as the Hospice Community Works to Better Serve Veterans at Life's End
(Alexandria, Va) - In a proclamation issued from the White House, President Obama declared November 2010 as National Hospice Month.
ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE 

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well. 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1000 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones. 
 
At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.
 
Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence. 

May Peace be your gift during the Holidays, and your blessing all year through! 
With love and best wishes from the 
Staff & Management of 
Continuum Care Virgin Islands.

Where in the World is Continuum Care?

Can't find us?  We've got a New Home on St. Croix!  
Continuum Care (St. Croix) is now located in the Princesse Professional Center.  
We know you're going to love the convenient, new location.  Call us (718-5683) if 
you need additional directions, but we are very easy to find now!

CCI Princesse Plaza

CCI Newsletter: Advance Directives

posted Jul 19, 2011, 10:53 AM by Unknown user

ccielogo2
Newsletter
HandsLogo
Quick Links

Continuum Care knows that information empowers, and also knows how important it is to provide our patients with the most empowerment possible to make informed decisions as to the quality of their end of life care.  Attached (links below) are some valuable resources we are providing you to educate yourself on your choices, your rights and ultimately your decisions.  (Please note availability in both English and Spanish on most documents.)


Living Will Information


Definitions to Know (English)

Definitions to Know (Spanish)

Advance Directives (English)

Advance Directives (Spanish)

Sample Language for Health Care Directives

Best of the VI 2009 2010

Die happily
and look forward to taking up a new and better form.
Like the sun,

only when you set in the west 
can you rise in the east.

-Rumi


_____________________________

Continuum Care, Inc.
St. Croix
340.718.LOVE (5683) - ph
340.718.7632 - fax

St. Thomas/St. John
340.714.CARE (2273) - ph
340.714.2280 - fax
ADVANCE DIRECTIVES

Advance Directive- A written document (form) that tells what a person wants or doesn't want if he/she in the future can't make his/her wishes known about medical treatment.

Continuum Care believes in helping our patients in every way possible.  While discussing end-of-life care and plans is not a topic that many of us are comfortable in discussing, it is of utmost importance.  Who better than ourselves know what we truly want our final days to be?  Who better than ourselves know how we want our end-of-life care and treatment to be managed? 

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. Advance directives center around the principles of your right to die with dignity.

We at CCI know that preparing an advance directive involves more than simply filling out a form. The time you spend thinking about the kind of care you want, or don't want, and discussing your wishes with your family and loved ones is much more meaningful than simply checking off boxes on a form.
 
At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.

As part of Continuum Care's expanded services, we can provide training on Living Wills and Advance Directives to small groups upon request.  Contact us to further discuss this service, or should you have questions.
Living Wills &
Advance Medical Directives

 
 
What Is An Advance Directive?
An Advance Directive is a general term that describes two types of legal documents that speak for you in the event of incapacity:
 
Living Will
Medical Power of Attorney
 
·  A Living Will allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatments at the end of life. 
 
·  A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a person you trust as your health care agent, who is authorized to make decisions on your behalf.
 
Start The Conversation:
Good advance planning for health care decisions is a continuing conversation about: 
  • values
  • priorities
  • the meaning of one's life
  • quality of life
 
Communication Is The Key:
Studies have shown advance directive forms do little to influence end of life decisions without
informed, thoughtful reflection about your wishes and values. Personal communication between the patient and the likely decision makers before a crisis occurs. 
 
Concepts For Talking About Health Care Issues:
How do you want to be treated?
Are there treatments you want to receive or refuse?
What are you afraid might happen if you can't make decisions for yourself?
Do you have any fears about the medical treatments you may want to receive?
What is frightening to you?
What do some phrases actually mean to you?
  • no heroic measures
  • dying with dignity
Who defines these terms? What do they mean? 
 
How To Select A Health Care Proxy: 
There are several things to think about. Name one person to serve at a time. Choose one successor or back-up person in case the first person is not available when needed.

 
ABOUT CONTINUUM CARE 

Hospice is a special kind of caring. Hospice care involves a team oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support, expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones as well. 

This approach is what Continuum Care is all about.  Our goal at CCI is to provide care to the terminally ill at home, in a supportive environment in which the patient is alert, free of pain and, along with those that he or she has chosen, makes the decisions regarding care. We are dedicated to making their end-of-life as comfortable and dignified as possible. To date, we have provided end-of-life care to over 1000 patients and their families, many of whom were able to return home from the mainland to be with their loved ones. 
 
At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.  Hospice is dedicated to making that possible.
 
Hospice services are available to those who can no longer benefit from curative treatment or to those who decide not to pursue or continue treatment. Most hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months and receive their care at their residence. 
 
CNN
Quality-of-life care must start right away 
By Danielle Ofri, Special to CNN


The Washington Post
Rather than creating 'death panels,' new law adds to end-of-life options
By Michelle Andrews - Washington Post
Where in the World is Continuum Care?

Can't find us?  We've got a New Home on St. Croix!  
Continuum Care (St. Croix) is now located in the Princesse Professional Center.  We know you're going to love the convenient, new location.  Call us (718-5683) if you need additional directions, but we are very easy to find now!


CCI Princesse Plaza

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