Hospice and end-of-life care is specific kind of care that focuses on quality of life for those suffering with advanced terminal illness and their caregivers. Also known as compassionate care, hospice workers work alongside families to provide services, guidance, and support. In short, end-of-life care emphasizes providing relief of symptoms, quality of life, and support through difficult decisions.
What Can I Expect from End-of-Life Care?
Every person has their own needs, their own process. Once you’ve decided it’s the right time, the next step will be choosing the right team to help. Hospice care workers often provide a wide array of services depending on you and your family’s needs. Here are some common services to expect:
Palliative care: Also known as comfort care or symptom relief, palliative care looks at how the person is feeling as a whole. This service focuses on providing comfort and pain relief by dealing with physical pain, psychological distress, and spiritual concerns.
Home healthcare: Often times, hospice is provided in the home where you can be comfortable. Home healthcare often includes assistance with bathing, dressing, hygiene, cooking/feeding, and more
Coordination and advocacy: End-of-life care often requires care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Compassionate care workers help coordinate between family members, medical staff, and home healthcare workers to ensure you have support at all times.
Emotional support/bereavement: Compassionate care is often difficult for you and your loved ones. In addition to feelings of sadness and loss, many have questions about death and the dying process. Hospice workers are knowledgeable and kind; they provide companionship, support, and conversation as they hold your hand through these hard days.
When is the Right Time?
The decision to consider hospice care is often a decision made between you, your medical team, and your support network. Hospice and compassionate care is used when a disease has progressed beyond the possibility of recovery or available treatments. It is not uncommon fear or avoid hospice, many people worry they’re not ready or it’s somehow “giving up hope”. It can be difficult to know when is the right time, hospice is all about improving quality of life so it’s important to remember what is best for you as a whole. Hospice is not a permanent arrangement; patients can return to active treatment at any time.
How do I Start?
Every person goes through this journey in their own way. Once you’ve decided it’s the right time, you start by looking for the right team to fit your needs. It is not uncommon for doctors to provide referrals for local hospice services or you can choose to find your own. Ideally, you can find a service that not only provides around-the-clock care, they become a part of the family during your time of need.
If you’re unsure whether hospice is the right choice for you, Silver Lining Home Healthcare provides consultations and advice to help you decide. We work with countless providers in the area to ensure that our staff or one of our partners can provide the right service for you. Please contact today to find out how we can help you.
Source: American Cancer Society