Serving more than 1,100 patients daily in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties, Tidewell is one of the largest not-for-profit hospices in the U.S. Home-based palliative care is the basic premise of Tidewell’s services, involving the support of physicians, registered nurses, social workers, certified nursing assistants, chaplains and volunteers, all following a prescribed plan of care. Tidewell’s services are available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
The reward of caring for those with advanced illness is at the heart of hospice and a catalyst in the continuing impact hospice has had for individuals across the nation. Nowhere is it more evident than on Florida’s gulf coast, where Tidewell cares for more than 8,000 patients every year.
Founded in 1980, Tidewell has grown significantly in the past three decades. Although hospice is often misunderstood as care just for cancer patients, Tidewell admits patients with a broad range of diagnoses, including heart and lung disease, AIDS, renal failure, ALS and end-stage Alzheimer’s. Any disease with a predictable prognosis of six months or less is within Tidewell’s admission criteria.
Creating a quality, dignified end-of-life experience is Tidewell’s goal. In doing so, Tidewell pays tribute to the principles that distinguish hospice from other types of health care providers: