Navigating healthcare and end-of-life hospice care can be confusing, especially for patients and families who are Spanish-speaking or have English as their second language. That’s why Heart to Heart Hospice, with coverage in Texas, Indiana and Michigan, offers Spanish hospice resources that help inform, provide clarity and empower patients and their families.

Two major online resources (with easy printable downloads) include:

  • Heart to Heart Hospice’s Patient and Family Handbook in Spanish — You can view it online or print it out as an easy referral guide.
  • from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) —  This site allows users to easily switch from English to Spanish on the top right of the website (click “English” to access the drop-down “Español” option).

From an overview of the hospice journey to caregiver tips, finances and more, discover how you can benefit from these comprehensive Spanish hospice resources.

Understanding Hospice

Many patients with a long-term illness receive palliative care, or comfort care, which can be given during any stage of a disease along with curative treatments. When a patient has a terminal illness and treatments are no longer effective or desired, however, (and a doctor gives a prognosis of six months or less), it’s time to consider hospice care. Doing so opens up a vast array of resources that help families manage a loved one’s end-stage disease — from pain management and comfort care to whole-person mental, emotional and spiritual care.

Hospice isn’t giving up, but about providing much-needed support for a patient’s quality of life, no matter the quantity of days. Spanish-speaking resources help families understand:

  • The differences between palliative care and hospice. Heart to Heart Hospice’s handbook also covers this topic.
  • Where to start if you’re suddenly in a health crisis and guidance on making your wishes known.
  • Financial topics such as Medicare coverage and financial caregiving.
  • The roles of the hospice care team and services offered by doctors, nurses, aides, chaplains, volunteers, specialized therapists and more.

Caregiver Support & Bilingual Volunteers

Both the Heart to Heart handbook and Caringinfo website cover in-depth caregiving expectations, duties and hospice services that support caregivers. Caregiving often falls to a close family member or friend, and a majority of caregiving occurs in the home, where patients desire to spend their final weeks surrounded by people and things they love. Hospice can also occur at a residential nursing or long-term care facility.

Caregiving duties range from helping the patient with daily hygiene and activities, home safety, nutrition, relational interactions, healthcare advocacy and much more. It may feel daunting at first, but the hospice team educates and equips caregivers, as well as providing regular visits. Further, hospice offers emotional and grief support for caregivers, not just the patient. Explore Caringinfo’s Caregiving section or Heart to Heart Hospice’s Spanish handbook for more.

Beyond written or online materials, Heart to Heart Hospice is also actively seeking to provide Spanish resources in local communities.

“Heart to Heart Hospice is continually working to increase access and services to Hispanic communities, such as recruiting bilingual staff and volunteers,” said Diane Pastrano, Executive Director at Heart to Heart Hospice of San Antonio. For example, Patient Support volunteers visit patients to simply share stories, read or listen. Compassionate, hospice-trained companionship is a vital piece of quality hospice care.

Advance Directives & Healthcare Documents

Advance directives (sometimes called a living will, healthcare proxy or medical power of attorney) help patients outline their end-of-life wishes that alleviates the guesswork and stress for their caregivers and loved ones. Each state may have a slightly different advance directive document. 

Caringinfo offers the first comprehensive online library of Spanish advance directive documents for a majority of states. Plus, Heart to Heart Hospice can help families outline their hospice goals and fill out official paperwork with Spanish-speaking support. Though sometimes difficult, having these end-of-life “what if” conversations early, while providing official documentation, is vital for patients and their families. 

Click through the links above to access the Spanish hospice resources that will help equip and empower your family today.