Patient with family receiving hospice care

Hospice care in El Monte has become increasingly popular since the Baby Boomer generation has begun entering its sunset years. In 2018, 1.55 million Medicare beneficiaries received hospice care, which was an increase of 4% from 2017. More and more people are realizing the importance of spending the remaining time they have with their loved ones, and the need to provide them with the best medical care. 

When someone faces a terminal illness, life can feel overwhelming, frightening, and uncertain for both them and their family. Hospice care has been around for many years, but the quality of care available has never been better. It provides a level of professional care and security that family members may not be able to provide.

In this article, we’ll discuss how hospice care works, who can access it, and the many benefits it can provide. 

What is hospice care?

Hospice care is also known as end-of-life care. It is typically provided to people who are approaching the end of their lives or to terminally ill patients who have six months or less left to live. Hospice care in El Monte, CA can also be given for longer than six months if a patient’s doctor confirms that the patient’s condition is terminal, without seeing any improvements after treatment.

In a hospice care center, patients’ physical, mental, and emotional needs are addressed as best as possible, and the care they receive can also include respite care, counseling, and other relevant support. 

The aim of hospice care is not to cure a patient of their illness; the aim is to make their remaining time as painless as it can be. It is a deeply personal service that focuses on the importance of emotional comfort in one’s final phase of life. 

Which patients can benefit from hospice care?

Those who will qualify for hospice care have usually been determined to be terminally ill. In a hospice care center, these people are generally offered special services to make them as comfortable as possible. Most people who benefit from hospice care are people with late-stage cancer, kidney failure, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Hospice care can also provide support to the patient’s loved ones. Hospice care centers may provide counseling sessions to help the family prepare for the patient’s passing. Families that receive this service will be kept up-to-date about the patient’s status and if there are any sudden changes, they’ll be notified and informed about what to expect. 

What services are included in hospice care?

Each hospice differs, but hospice care generally covers several areas, including:

  • Pain management, through traditional painkillers and other alternative methods
  • Physiotherapy to improve flexibility and encourage light physical movement, where appropriate 
  • Palliative care, including the control and management of symptoms
  • Occupational therapy, helping patients to do everyday tasks like getting dressed and feeding themselves
  • Respite care to give a break to those who usually care for the patient
  • Information about financial issues and other practical matters
  • Mental health support, with advice on how to manage symptoms of any mental health issues you may experience after learning of your life expectancy
  • Spiritual support, if relevant
  • Familial support including bereavement counseling and logistical help once the patient has passed away

A hospice care team in El Monte, CA delivers 24/7 assistance and support to their patients and their families, sometimes communicating with members of the clergy and funeral directors. The point of hospice care is to make the process as stress-free as possible, and that extends beyond the patient.

What are the benefits of hospice care in El Monte, CA?

Hospice care can benefit the patient and their loved ones in the following ways:

  • It allows terminally ill people and their families to spend time together in comfort and dignity. This process often takes place at home, among familiar surroundings.
  • It cares for the whole family and network of close friends, not just the patient.
  • This style of care respects each individual’s choices about end-of-life care. It gives an unbiased, non-judgemental level of care that a patient needs. 
  • It provides expert pain management allowing a terminally ill patient to be as comfortable as possible.
  • Many hospice care centers can provide care specific to each patient and have been functioning for a long time. More than 55 percent of all hospice care providers have been certified for a decade or longer. 
  • It sees each patient as an individual, treating the person, not the illness. This is often referred to as “holistic care” as it treats the person as a whole. 
  • It provides an interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers in El Monte to take care of people experiencing a life-limiting illness.
  • Hospice care is a cost-effective alternative to expensive hospitals and traditional institutional care, providing financial and emotional relief.

Which professionals are involved in hospice care? 

Hospice care also provides patients with access to professionals who have dedicated their lives to caring for them. Here are some of the people involved in hospice care: 

  • Doctors act as the primary health provider and the hospice doctor will oversee the patient’s hospice care. The patient will be able to choose their primary doctor, whether it’s a resident hospice doctor or a doctor they know personally.
  • There may be several nurses providing hospice care. They are typically the main point of contact between the patient and other members of the hospice care team.
  • In-house pharmacists can provide appropriate medication to relieve a patient’s painful symptoms. Making a patient physically comfortable is one of the top priorities of hospice pharmacists. 
  • A health aide will provide routine care involving the patient’s everyday needs. They may be involved in a patient’s occupational therapy or they may be a volunteer. The health aide may help a patient to get dressed, feed, or bathe them- whatever the patient needs to feel clean, satiated, and comfortable. 
  • Spiritual counselors may take the form of a priest, minister, or any other spiritual counselor. They offer spiritual care and guidance for the patient and their loved ones.
  • Social workers provide counseling and support for patients approaching the end of their lives. These hospice care team members can also refer family members to other helpful services after the patient has passed. 
  • Trained volunteers offer additional help to all other hospice care workers. caregivers mentioned above. They may also provide ancillary services like meal prep, administrative work, and transportation. 
  • At the end of a patient’s life, a bereavement counselor will offer grief counseling to the patient’s support network.

Hospice care providers in El Monte, CA often place an emphasis on allowing their patients to live out the rest of their lives in dignity. They give patients the choice of how to live their lives and they value the respect of each patient, aiming to make them as comfortable as they can possibly be. Hospice care can provide patients with a calmer, more familiar environment in which to spend the last few months of their lives. It’s often a more friendly alternative to hospitals and is preferable to many people who want a gentler approach to their end-of-life care.