As your loved one approaches end-of-life, it can be difficult to decide how to move forward, especially if your loved one suffers from a terminal disease. If your loved one has been diagnosed with six months to live, then you may be considering hospice care.
Hospice care gives patients dignity during their last days. Through a variety of options, hospice can make the last stage of life more comfortable for the patient and less stressful for the patient’s family.
Learn more about how hospice supports both the patient and their loved ones.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice care allows people to live their final days to the fullest. Hospice care is available for patients diagnosed with six months or less to live. For these individuals, curing the disease is no longer feasible. With hospice care, a team of professionals attempts to relieve the patient’s pain and symptoms, not cure their disease. Other forms of care continue and the patient can still see their own doctor.
Where Can You Receive Hospice?
Hospice care can occur in any setting depending on the condition and the wishes of the patient. While hospice can be provided in assisted living, inpatient hospital, and nursing home facilities, 66 percent of hospice care is provided at the patient’s home. Hospice at a patient’s home or place of choice allows them to make the best of the time they have left.
People receiving hospice can often complete their end-of-life goals. They don’t have to miss monumental moments. A hospice patient can attend their grandchild’s graduation or wedding. Some studies show that hospice residents live longer. Whether that extension of life is just a few days or weeks, time home with family and friends can make this last period of life more meaningful.
Who Provides The Care?
In hospice, a team of caregivers makes regular visits to a patient according to the services the patient needs. This team of caregivers includes doctors and nurses, counselors, spiritual advisors, family, and volunteers. The goal of this team is to alleviate the patient’s symptoms and provide emotional support. Volunteers can help complete daily tasks like cooking meals, washing laundry, or tidying the house.
Are You Considering Hospice Care?
When considering hospice care, you and your family don’t have to wait for a doctor to suggest it. You can start the discussion about whether hospice care is the right choice for your loved one. Once you’ve made your decision, you will need to research the hospice programs in your area. Your doctor may also have recommendations.
After you’ve chosen a program, the hospice staff will create an individualized care plan based on your loved one’s symptoms and goals. This plan will determine how often members of the care team visit, what services they provide, and if any medication or supplies are needed. A member of your hospice care team will be available by phone 24 hours a day if you or your loved one need assistance.
How Does Hospice Effect The Family?
Hospice care professionals are there to teach family members how to take care of their loved one. The patient’s family and care staff work hand in hand to provide the best support possible. Hospice staff can even provide a break for family members or regular caregivers for up to five days. This gives caregivers time to attend to other responsibilities. After the patient has passed away, hospice continues for the family. For up to a year, the patient’s loved ones can receive grief counseling.
Hospice care will provide the equipment your loved one needs to receive care in their home or chosen location. It will also provide any special services your loved one needs, such as speech therapy. If at any time you or your loved one wish to stop receiving hospice, you can opt-out of the program and begin disease treatment again.
Are you considering hospice care for your loved one?
Contact Seasons Hospice in Springfield, MO. We can answer your questions about hospice care and help you decide if hospice is right for your loved one.