Learning that your loved one does not have much time left can be devastating. When they require extensive care round-the-clock, it can become too much for the average person to handle. In a time like this, hospice care at home can be the best way to keep your loved one comfortable during their final weeks.
If you have questions about comfort care,
call us at (702) 509-5276 or contact us online.
What Is Hospice?
Think of hospice as a cross between being at home and being in a hospital. There are workers trained to provide your loved one with a caring environment and help them experience the best possible quality of life. There’s typically a hospital bed and medical equipment around, but a hospice has a less sterile feel than a hospital. They’ll get the medical attention they need along with any other help such as help with pain management and personal care. Hospice is a “palliative care” environment, meaning that the goal of treatment for the patient is to minimize pain and maximize comfort, not provide an ultimate cure.
Is Hospice Only for People Who Are Dying?
A person is eligible for hospice care when the doctor determines that he or she has a terminal illness and a life expectancy of six months. Of course, no one can predict the actual date that a terminally ill person will die. Patients often outlive their doctor’s expectation. However, to enter hospice care, there needs to be no cure for the disease.
Moving from the hospital to the hospice signifies a shift in expectations. The patient and their family no longer hope to treat the illness itself. Instead, they simply treat the pain and strive to help the patient live the most normal and comfortable life possible under the circumstance. The goal is a quality of life over quantity of days.
Who Is Hospice Best Suited to?
Hospice is meant for those suffering from serious complications related to their illness. For instance, they may have extreme difficulty breathing, be unable to walk on their own, or experience constant nausea. In some cases, these types of symptoms are not from the illness itself but from the treatments for the illness. Those in hospice usually need constant care from medical professionals or trained caregivers. When families cannot provide this type of intensive care, they turn to a hospice for help.
Related: Does Hospice Mean “The End”?
Quality of Life: The Philosophy Behind Medical Care for the Terminally Ill
When a person has a terminal illness, it’s important to seize the opportunity to make those final days count. By treating the more horrible symptoms of the illness, the patient is better able to appreciate the life they have left. For instance, pain medication might allow them to happily visit with family members, and nausea medication can allow them to enjoy their favorite foods. In this way, there’s a strong focus on the patient’s quality of life. That’s the major driving force behind palliative care.
Placing your loved one in hospice is a difficult decision, but it’s made easier when you know that you’re doing what’s best for them. In a quality hospice home, your loved one will get the medical attention they need while remaining as comfortable as possible until the very end. If you want to learn more about hospice, call us at (702) 509-5276.