Hospice care is well known as an end-of-life care option, but it can provide much more than simple pain and symptom management. In most cases, hospice can provide an integrative approach to patient care that helps coordinate and manage medications, physician care, spiritual and mental health support, and support for family and caregivers.
When a patient enters hospice, they gain the support of an extended network of care providers. Along with family physicians and existing specialists, a strong staff of experienced nurses, aids, volunteers, therapists, and mental health professionals work with patients and their family to create a cohesive care team.
Hospice also provides patients with resources to receive specialized equipment to make their daily activities easier and allow caregivers to provide care safely and efficiently.
Physicians work with hospice staff to determine the right course of care and treatment to help to provide relief from pain and symptoms.
Specially trained mental health staff, work with both patients and family, to understand the course of the disease and what can be expected over time. Counselors are available to work with patients individually or with family and friends to help come to terms with the reality of terminal illness. Family and caregivers can also take advantage of grief and bereavement counseling, in order to process what they are feeling and experiencing.
For many patients, spirituality plays a large part of both their treatment and their lives. Hospice can help patients find supportive spiritual counselors who can provide services for both patients and their families, including but not limited to, in home or hospital religious services. Patients are offered care based upon their personal beliefs and are never forced to participate in religious activities.
Family and Caregivers
Facing the loss of a loved one is extremely hard for family and caregivers. Hospice offers counseling and services to help those caring for a terminally ill loved one navigate the emotional journey they are facing. They also offer opportunities to connect with others who are in the same situation, which can lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Hospice care is patient driven. If patients are unable to communicate their needs and wishes, their advanced directive or other written instructions are reviewed and used to direct treatment. The needs of family members and caregivers are also considered.
Many patients wish to stay in their home for as long as possible or avoid hospitalization entirely. Others choose to enter in patient hospice when they are no longer able to enjoy a quality of life in their own homes. Regardless of the choice, the hospice team works diligently to ensure that patients are comfortable and treated with dignity and respect.
If you are facing a terminal illness, don't wait to contact hospice to discuss your options. Call a hospital like Marlette Regional Hospital today to gain the information you need to make informed decisions when the time comes.