There are a lot of misconceptions regarding hospice care. Being well-informed is the first step toward making complex healthcare decisions and reaping the benefits of hospice care for patients and their families. When someone in the family needs care for a terminal or life-limiting illness, it’s critical to know what Hospice has to offer to improve the family’s quality of life.
Hospice is a care philosophy that focuses on giving help and treatment to patients in their respective homes, where they are most comfortable. More than 90% of hospice patients are cared for at home, in assisted care communities, skilled nursing facilities, or even in hospitals. Treatment focuses on pain control, as well as stress and anxiety reduction, to improve quality of life. It allows for a dignified and peaceful death at the end of life.
Hospice is about focusing on what matters most at this stage of life. Hospice care assists patients in living in comfort and respect for as long as they have left once curative treatment is no longer accessible or wanted. The focus is on increasing the patient’s quality of life rather than seeking a cure. Clients can also choose what is most important to them while receiving customized care programs. As the illness advances, goals are re-evaluated, allowing patients and their loved ones to maintain influence over their care.
Hospice provides months of care and assistance. Many people believe that if a loved one is in hospice care, it means they have few days left to live. Unfortunately, this is the situation for far too many people, as most people are referred to care after they have already begun to die. Hospice care, in reality, provides patients and their families with months of a better quality of life.
Interdisciplinary care teams at Hospice services provide “whole body” care, addressing physical and psychosocial, and spiritual needs. They also give family members and caregivers much-needed assistance, education, and respite.
Hospice care is provided to persons suffering from a variety of illnesses. Patients with life-limiting disorders such as heart disease, COPD, liver disease, renal failure, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, stroke, or any other terminal illness that qualify for hospice treatment make up around 37% of hospice patients.
Hospice is a Medicare benefit that is available to all Medicare recipients. This benefit covers all costs connected with a patient’s significant ailment, including services, drugs, medical equipment, and supplies. Hospice is covered by Medicaid and most insurance providers. Hospice is a reasonably priced option.
All religious and spiritual beliefs and practices are welcomed at Hospice. Hospice chaplains are sensitive to each person’s spiritual beliefs, faith traditions, and procedures. Whether or not patients and families are religious, chaplains give spiritual care that is comforting to them. They may help patients explore their own personal sources of faith and hope, recognize their spirituality and practice of faith, or provide a caring, listening ear.
Hospice care aims to improve the standard of living for patients and families for as long as possible. A pain-free, respectful death is possible with hospice. Many individuals believe that Hospice hastens death because they frequently learn of someone’s death when they realize they are receiving hospice care. This refers to when the patient was referred for care, not whether or not hospice care caused their death.
There are no studies that suggest hospice treatment causes people to die faster. Despite this, some studies demonstrate that hospice patients survive longer than those that don’t. Many individuals believe that hospice care entails starvation. That isn’t the case. Many hospice patients quit eating and drinking as the end of life approaches. Food and liquids are not withheld from hospice patients. Most patients, however, will begin to eat and drink less and less as their condition develops and they approach death. This is due to the body’s inability to metabolize nutrients and drinks and its failure to expend energy. For many patients, this is a genuine part of the process of dying. A lack of food and hydration does not expedite death, induce discomfort, or promote famine in the patient.
After a patient’s death, Hospice continues to support their loved ones. Grief support is given to family members and loved ones in the months leading up to and following the end of a loved one. A family member, pastor, concerned friend, or, yes, your doctor can refer someone to hospice care. People wait much too long for their doctor to offer hospice care before considering it for themselves or their loved ones.