Caregiver briefs: Sincera offers comfort, support for those facing serious illness

Press Staff Writer

        Providing supportive care and symptom relief for seriously ill patients not on a hospice program, Sincera is a palliative care service started by Hospice of Northwest Ohio in 2008. It has served more than 3,800 patients since that time, with 94% of them reporting significant improvement in comfort and quality of life.
        Sincera works with community physicians to provide an extra, highly skilled set of eyes and ears in the home when it is difficult for their patients to visit them in their offices.
        “Our first goal is to find relief for pain or other symptoms a patient may be having due to their illness or side effects of treatment,” said Annette Collier, MD, Medical Director for Sincera. “Then,” she says, “we focus on overall management of the chronic illness or, in many cases, help address the challenges of living with several different health conditions at once.
        “Because we have more time than is allotted in a typical physician office visit, we can answer questions, provide more in-depth information about disease progression, make recommendations about medications that may need to be adjusted, discuss goals of care and work with the patient’s physician and others to acquire additional assistance that may be beneficial,” Collier said.
        Improving quality of life
        Palliative care physicians and advanced practice nurses from Sincera focus solely on patients who are seriously ill, but not ready for, or in need of, hospice care. Utilizing their specialized expertise in pain and symptom management, they help improve quality of life when the patient has:
        •  Side effects from treatment that are debilitating and difficult to manage;
        •  Repeated trips to the ER or is hospitalized due to uncontrolled pain or other symptoms;
        •  Several illnesses that, combined, make care needs more complex;
        •  A worsening condition and is confused or worried about the progress of the disease and treatment options;
        •  Difficulty maintaining comfort at home after being released from the hospital or a rehab facility;
        •  Emotional or spiritual concerns that are affecting overall wellbeing;
        •  Caregivers who are struggling to understand and manage the illness;
        •  Physical challenges that make it difficult to visit the physician’s office;
        •  Symptoms that require additional management while receiving skilled care in a nursing home;
        •  The need to discuss goals of care and what is important moving forward.
        How to seek Sincera’s services
        Though a physician referral is required before Sincera can visit, many questions about the program can be answered with a by calling the Sincera office. A nurse navigator will assess information and can work with physicians to get a referral for Sincera’s services. Like any medical consultation, Sincera’s services are covered by Medicare Part B, Medicaid and most other health insurance plans.
        To learn more, call 419-931-3440 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or visit
Life Line screenings
        Residents living in and around the Oak Harbor area can learn about their risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other chronic, serious conditions with affordable screenings by Life Line Screening.
        St John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 122 W. Ottawa St., will host this community event on Wednesday, July 7. Free parking is also available.
        Screenings can check for:
        • The level of plaque buildup in arteries, related to risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and overall vascular health.
        • HDL and LDL cholesterol levels;
        • Diabetes risk;
        • Bone density as a risk for possible osteoporosis;
        • Kidney and thyroid function, and more.
        Special package pricing starts at $149, however consultants will help clients create a package that is right for them based on their age and risk factors.
        Pre-registration is required. Call 1-877-237-1287 or visit for more details and to schedule an appointment.
Virtual caregiver support
        The Area Office on Aging offers a monthly Virtual Caregiver Support Program.
        The next session is set for Tuesday, June 22 at 6:15 p.m. Interior designer Rose Toth will discuss “Decluttering Tips & Tricks.”
        To RSVP and obtain access instructions, call Jennifer Forshey at 419-725-6983 or Tracie Fountain at 419-725-6984.
Oregon Senior Center
offers transport service

        The Oregon Senior Center offers transportation to any Oregon resident 60 and older to and from anywhere in Oregon, including to appointments, shopping, banking, hairdressers to the senior center and more.
        The suggested donation is $3 round trip for travel to/from the center and $4 round trip for transport in the Oregon area.
        Arrangements may also be made for transport across the river.
        Twenty-four-hour advance notice is required by calling 419-698-7078.
Family Caregiver
Support Program

        Families, not social service agencies, nursing homes or government programs, are the main providers of long-term care for older persons in Northwestern Ohio.               
        The National Family Caregiver Support Program, implemented as a part of the Older Americans Act of 2000, recognizes the monumental role caregivers play in caring for older family members. Under this program, five basic services are available – information to caregivers about available services; assistance to caregivers in gaining access to services; counseling, support groups, and caregiver training; respite care to enable caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities; and supplemental services, to complement the care provided by family caregivers.
        For more information about the Family Caregiver Support Program, contact the Area Office on Aging at 419-382-0624.
Program offers info
about senior services

        Great Lakes Community Action Partnership’s Senior Life Transitions Program is a one-stop hub that provides comprehensive information about local senior services.
        Senior Life Transitions staff can link seniors and their caregivers to programs for:
        • Socialization and senior activities
• Health needs including Medicare and Medicaid counseling, medication assistance, home health, behavioral health, Alzheimer’s and dementia, hospice and other medical needs
        • Home-delivered meal options
        • Transportation needs
        • Living options including local senior housing, in-home assistance, long-term care, and assisted living/nursing facilities
        • Caregiver and respite assistance
        • Family services for seniors raising grandchildren or great-grandchildren
        • Other community senior services
        Staff is available for one-on-one consultations as well as group presentations.
        GLCAP is located at 127 S. Front St., Fremont. For more details about the Senior Life Transitions Program or other GLCAP senior services, visit 419-333-5082 or visit
Donations accepted
        The Ability Center is currently accepting durable medical equipment donations. Common items include bathroom seating items, wheelchairs, and walkers. Donated items are accepted at 5033 Skelly Road, Sylvania.
        Donations will be used for the center’s Equipment Loan Program. For more info, call 419-885-5733 or visit


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