The benefits of hospice care are substantial. Quality hospice care delivered by compassionate professionals can make a difficult time significantly easier and allow individuals diagnosed with terminal conditions to make the most of the time that they have left.
What Is Hospice Care?
The goal of most medical care is to find a cure for a health problem. Hospice care is different. Its goal is to provide comfort by maintaining or improving the quality of life of a patient facing a terminal illness whose life prognosis is six months or less. Hospice care can provide all of the following:
- Medications, medical supplies, and equipment
- Comfort care for the management of pain and symptoms
- Dietary counseling
- Guidance for the patient and their caregivers regarding best practices in patient care
- Support for emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual needs
- Help with end-of-life issues
- Grief counseling for those left behind
Discovering the Benefits of Hospice Care
People often choose to postpone discussions about hospice care until the last possible moment, but this procrastination can do both the patient and those who love them a disservice. Hospice care is not a form of surrender; it is a choice that can offer real benefits to both the patient and their family and friends.
Hospice Care Is Collaborative
With hospice care, an entire team of professionals works with the patient and their family. The focus is on improving the patient’s quality of life by controlling their pain and reducing any discomfort. This team can include doctors, nurses, therapists, health care aides, chaplains, and social workers. The members of the hospice team work together, with each one offering the benefit of both their professional expertise and their experience in navigating end-of-life issues.
Hospice Care Is Personal
Hospice care is not a one-size-fits-all form of treatment. It’s personal. The concerns and preferences of the patient are respected, and the hospice team works to address and soothe the patient’s physical, mental, and emotional pain with care that is tailored to the patient’s unique needs. Hospice workers can help with medications, offer a favorite meal, or simply provide companionship if that’s what the patient requires.
Hospice Care Is Familiar
Entering hospice care does not mean leaving behind the familiar. Patients can generally continue to see their own doctor, who works in concert with the hospice team. While it can be offered in a medical facility when necessary, hospice care is often delivered at home. This allows patients to retain control of their routine while they spend their time in a familiar, comfortable setting surrounded by the people they love most.
Hospice Care Empowers the Patient
By reducing a patient’s pain and providing support, hospice care allows patients to focus on what matters most to them. It empowers the patient by respecting their wishes and their dignity and treating them as an individual rather than a health condition. Patients in hospice are spared much of the red tape and procedural rules that govern institutional settings, and they do not have to worry about being pressured to undergo invasive procedures that they don’t want. They also have access to counseling to help them deal with any spiritual or emotional issues that are troubling them.
Hospice Care Supports Caregivers
When a patient enters hospice care, they gain access to many resources that can help both them and their loved ones. These resources help to ensure that the patient receives quality care, which eases the worry and burden on family and friends who have been struggling to provide this care. Hospice care offers caregivers the reassurance of interaction and assistance from knowledgeable professionals. It can also provide much-need opportunities for respite. Even if a patient is receiving hospice at home, they can generally qualify for short-term inpatient care if their caregivers need a break or their symptoms become too much to manage. It is also worth noting that the benefits of hospice care don’t halt with the patient’s death. Family and friends can take advantage of opportunities for bereavement and grief counseling and receive guidance and assistance with some of the after-death tasks that must be completed.
Hospice Care May Ease Financial Burdens
The bills for hospital care can be staggering. Hospice care offers an alternative that is more affordable. In fact, Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances include coverage for hospice care (source).
Accepting hospice care can bring tremendous comfort to an individual living with a terminal condition and that person’s family. To discover more about the many benefits of hospice care, get in touch with Phoenix Home Care. Our caregivers and clinicians work with patients in the comfort of their own homes, providing the same level of care they would receive in a traditional facility. We have a team of licensed professionals that serve individuals in four states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. To learn more about our services, get in touch with us at 855-881-7442, or visit us online. We look forward to connecting with you.