Hospice care is for patients in the final phase of a terminal illness. Hospice care focuses on the comfort and quality of life for patients, their caregivers, and family members. Rather than a cure, a Hospice Care team will provide pain management, symptom control, as well as emotional and spiritual support with the goal of helping each patient live every day as fully as possible. Unfortunately, you can’t change what is happening to your loved one, but you can help him or her feel as comfortable as possible. Here are some ways to cope with your loved one in hospice care.
Keep Communication Open
The worse time to talk to your loved one about hospice care is during an emergency. Having this conversation early can help both the patient and their family members decide on what facility he or she will go to, as well as who will be their healthcare agent if the patient cannot make medical decisions on their own. So when considering hospice care for your loved one, keep open communication between the patient, the caregiver, and family members to help ease the transition.
Get a Doctor Involved
Most people and physicians think that hospice care and palliative care are the same. The misconception is that Palliative care focuses on a combination of improving quality of life as well as curative therapy. Hospice care is a form of palliative care, but provides disease-specific treatments as well as managing symptoms. With that said, getting a Palliative Care Physician involved before transitioning your loved one to hospice care can help alleviate tension when treatment options are discussed.
The pain and grief of realizing that your loved one’s time is coming to an end can be reduced with support. Joining a support group is a great method to help family members struggling with their loved one’s health condition or loss. According to the Hospice Foundation, “Groups are places to work together and support one another; they are places where everyone gives and takes. Not everyone will find a support group suitable; each individual grieves in his or her own way. For many, however, support groups have much to offer.”
It can be a difficult task to take care of our beloved elders. When a family member can no longer live on their own, the decision regarding how and who will care for them may arise. At Spring Hills Senior Communities, we provide customized care and understand that the best type of care is care that meets the needs of an individual’s mind, body, and spirit. We purposely select partners that align with our holistic approach to assist with specialty care and services like hospice and palliative care.