Hearing the word hospice when it relates to your aging or chronically ill loved one can be incredibly scary. It can drum up all sorts of images that can cause you to become filled with anxiety with the thought of all possible outcomes. Even the most knowledgeable family members can be resistant and apprehensive at the idea of their loved one being provided hospice care which is why it’s important to know what to expect.
Hospice care is a personalized health care option for those suffering from a life-limiting or terminal illness. Using hospice care allows a multi-faceted team of professionals to provide pain management, medical attention, and emotional support to both clients and their family members, most often in their very own home.
In order to receive hospice care, a doctor’s referral and recommendation is needed. The referral is usually provided when there is a life expectancy of six months or less, or there has been a mutual agreement to no longer have any curative measures taken to prolong life. Once the referral is received and a hospice company is chosen, both the hospice company and the primary care physician provide a customized care plan to be implemented in the place of the client or family’s choosing, usually in a private home.
During hospice care, regular visits will be performed by a hospice professional, (usually a Registered Nurse) to provide your loved one with personalized care suitable to their needs. These visits may be once a week, twice a week, or once a day depending on the level of care needed. A regular visit may include a checkup, a follow up from a previous visit, a review of the current medications, and answering any questions from family members. The hospice nurse may also suggest alternatives to the care being provided and offer feedback on the best ways to keep the client comfortable.
Since hospice care is not provided on a 24/7 basis, it is important to remember that non-medical custodial care is also an option to supplement the care being given by hospice. At HomeLife Partners, we work in conjunction with hospice to provide the next level of care required. Our Personal Assistants work side by side with hospice nurses to create a supportive environment with the highest levels of care. We defer directly to the hospice company’s care plan and use the hospice staff as the primary contact during any emergency situation.
Adjusting to the care needed for your loved one at the end of life stage can be incredibly challenging. Knowing the benefits of hospice care combined with regular in home care can be beneficial in making that transition much easier.