As a caregiver to a terminally ill loved one, one of the hardest decisions you may ever need to make is regarding hospice care. It’s an extremely difficult decision to make but once you realize that medical treatment has gone as far as it can it’s time for the patient to be in a place where there is warmth and caring and they can spend quality private time together with their loved ones.
Hospice is not a place; it’s a concept about the quality of life as it nears its end for the patients and their families and friends. Even when medicine cannot provide a cure, it can offer comfort, care and assistance that can help maintain a better quality of life for the patient. Hospice care is based on the belief that through sensitive, appropriate care and the support of a caring community, terminally ill patients and their families can begin to prepare to face the inevitable challenges ahead.
This type of attention, also called palliative care, involves the aggressive treatment of physical and emotional pain and symptoms. It focuses on enhancing a patient’s comfort and improving quality of life for all those involved. An acceptable hospice care program can even be provided at the patient’s home. It is built around the idea that quality of life and a person’s dignity are essential. The family is extensively involved in the caring and the emphasis is on life. Hospice care enables a patient to manage pain and other symptoms so that they can be as comfortable as possible.
Another main decision to make is who will be the primary caregiver for the patient. If it is a family member or members then the hospice care program should offer a respite so that the caregivers can take much needed rest at intervals while not worrying about how the hospice care near me patient is doing. The hospice care program should set up the equipment the patient needs and train the caregiver to administer any medication. If a skilled nurse is required, this service may be offered by the hospice care program depending on the kind of treatment the patient is receiving.
A recent study showed that hospice care patients were significantly more pleased with the care they received and hospice care patients’ caregivers showed more satisfaction and less anxiety than did those in traditional medical care. Hospice care patients also experienced significantly less depression throughout the process.
Do your research and make an informed decision about hospice care for your loved one and take into account the patient’s own wishes. Ensure that all family members are involved in the decision and that everyone understands who the caregivers are and when each is responsible for care. You can provide the patient with a great deal of comfort when making this decision based on physical, emotional, and spiritual factors.