When your loved one is terminally ill, there may come a point where you begin considering hospice care for them. Hospice care is a type of medical care that’s given to patients who are facing the end of their life. To qualify for hospice care, a patient must have been given a diagnosis of six months or less to live. Hospice care teams will usually consist of a wide variety of people, including counselors, spiritual advisors, doctors, and nurses. If you’re thinking of transitioning your loved one into hospice care, here’s what you need to know about the services hospice care provides.
Where Patients Receive Hospice Care
One of the common misconceptions about hospice care is that it’s a place where patients go, but hospice care is actually a type of medical care. There are some dedicated hospice care facilities throughout the country, but most often, hospice care workers, physicians, and nurses visit patients in the place where they currently live. This could be an assisted living facility, their home, or a nursing home.
Differences between Hospice Care and Palliative Care
Many people are unsure about the differences between palliative care and hospice care. Palliative care is a type of care where doctors work to relieve symptoms of a patient’s disease, even if the disease itself is incurable. Palliative care helps relieve patients’ suffering and improve their quality of life. Hospice care is simply a specific type of palliative care that’s used for people who have six months or less to live.
Who will be on your Hospice Care Team?
Hospice care is designed to help your loved one with all of their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. There are many different people who will be part of your loved one’s hospice care team. Typically, the team will include physicians and Registered Nurses who will tend to all your loved one’s medical needs. They’ll help relieve your loved one’s pain and give them the medicine that they need. They’ll also be able to answer any questions that you have about the treatments your loved one is receiving.
Hospice care teams also usually include a social worker or counselor. The counselor will be able to help with the mental and emotional challenges that come at the end of life. They can help you and your loved one with your grief, and they help your loved one get closure. Your loved one’s counselor will be able to support you during difficult times. They’ll also help you and your loved one say all the important things that you need to say to each other.
Your hospice care team may also include in-home caregivers or trained hospice volunteers. These in-home caregivers and volunteers will help your loved one with all of their non-medical needs. They’ll be able to help your loved one with the six basic Activities of Daily Living—eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, walking, and continence. In addition, the hospice worker will act as a friend to your loved one, and they’ll spend time talking with them and playing games with them.
A volunteer or in-home caregiver can also provide you and your other family members with respite care. They’ll be able to relieve you from your caregiving duties for a few hours a day, allowing you to take a break and relax.
Your loved one can also choose if they would like to have spiritual advisors and ministers included in their hospice care team. These types of advisors will talk to your loved ones about what death means to them. They can also help them say goodbye to their friends and family. In addition, they’ll perform religious rituals with your loved one.
Choosing Hospice Care for your Loved One
When your loved one reaches the end of their life, they may need more help with daily activities. They may also have difficulty leaving their house or their assisted care facility. Hospice workers will be able to come to the place where your loved one lives and provide them with personal care. They’ll also be able to help your loved one with their emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice care workers will give your loved one with the care that they need at the end of their life.
At Caring Home Matters, we partner with hospice care organizations to provide your loved one with compassionate care and support. We’re able to offer non-medical care for your loved one, and we can help them with day-to-day activities. If you’re interested in learning more about our end-of-life services, contact us through our online form.