What Does Hospice Provide?
It’s a question that fewer Americans know the answer to than we might expect. That isn’t to say it should be surprising; Americans often have a hard time discussing life-limiting illnesses and their treatment.
If you are considering hospice care for a loved one or just want to learn more about hospice care services, you’ll need answers. This is perhaps even more true if you are considering such services for yourself.
Keep reading to learn what hospice provides and the services those in hospice care can expect to receive.
The first thing that needs to be acknowledged is that hospice care services can vary between hospice providers. In fact, they can vary even among patients in the care of the same organization, being adjusted for the patient’s specific needs or requests.
Medication for Pain Control and Symptom Management
While in hospice care, the priority shifts from trying to cure a condition to managing pain and other symptoms caused by the disease or treatments. A terminal diagnosis often brings with it a great deal of discomfort that the right medication can help alleviate.
Medical Supplies and Equipment
Providing a patient with the supplies and equipment needed to be comfortable is quite common for those receiving hospice care. This may include the basics, like a bed, oxygen and wheelchair to more complex equipment like special mattresses to reduce skin breakdown.
Support With Daily Activities and Personal Care
This is where specifics start to depend on the organization that the patient and caregiver is using to receive hospice care. At Heart to Heart Hospice, we ensure that our patients have the support they need with their activities of daily living, to help them have the best quality of life possible.
It’s easy to forget that a terminal illness doesn’t have to control your whole day. While medical needs can indeed take time and limit what you can do, there is almost always something that can help give life to your days, time with family or capturing memories in our Memory Journal.
Educating Families on Proper Care
At Heart to Heart Hospice, a big part of our services is helping to educate families on how to care and support their loved ones. Most of the levels of care we offer the patient are provided in the place a patient calls home. It is therefore essential that those caregivers have the necessary skills to help them as needed.
Heart to Heart Hospice also offers bereavement services and counseling for families dealing with grief. A terminal illness doesn’t only impact the patient. Their loved ones also can receive aid during times of grief for up to 13 months after a loss.
Helping With General End-of-Life Needs
The caregivers and loved ones receiving hospice care will oftentimes have questions and concerns that need to be addressed before end of life. A good hospice service does its best to address those concerns. Meeting the emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of the patient and their family is essential to easing the burden of a terminal illness. With great empathy and effort, the burden of passing on can be greatly diminished for a patient by making their final weeks or days much easier with the help of a hospice service.
Knowing “what to expect’ is often one of the greatest values a hospice team can provide. At Heart to Heart Hospice we developed a hospice handbook to be used by each member of our team to educate and guide caregivers and family. You can access this handbook at our website htohh.com
Providing Support and Companionship
This aspect of care may seem simple, but it can be critical to the mental health of those in hospice care. Oftentimes, serious medical needs can feel isolating. It can be hard to talk with others and this, in turn, can put distance between a patient and those they used to communicate with on a daily basis.
Part of quality hospice care is providing the patient with someone they can talk to and feel supported by. The trained, professional social worker, chaplain and bereavement coordinators help both patients and their families. Hospice also provides companionship with volunteers that help listen or just sit with a patient.
What does hospice provide? The goal is comfort. Hospice care should help those diagnosed with a terminal condition find some peace in their final months, weeks and days. Moreover, it can also help the families of those who are ill, find their own peace too.
If you or a loved one are in need of hospice services, we hope you will consider Heart to Heart Hospice. If you’re interested in how we can help, contact us. We welcome any and all questions you may have.