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Hospice care in Lawndale, CA is a specialized care for the terminally ill or those with an expected life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice patients are offered comfort, dignity, and a lessening of pain through specially trained hospice nurses who provide personalized care and support. The goal of hospice care is to help the patient and loved ones cope with disease and all its effects, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. In addition, hospice care patients in Lawndale are not subjected to any procedures that are considered medically unnecessary. Hospice care in Lawndale, CA is a unique and valuable part of comprehensive medical care that respects the true wishes and personal values of patients facing a life-threatening illness. It is a care that provides the next step in end-of-life care, from curative to palliative.
Hospice care is not a place, but rather a service. The team of healthcare professionals in Lawndale, CA that provide hospice care includes a doctor, as well as registered nurses and other professionals. In addition to providing medical care, this team may include social workers, home health aides, chaplains and volunteers. Hospice care is provided in the home and in certain situations such as hospitals or nursing homes. In home hospice care, the patient’s spouse or partner and other members of the immediate family are often the caregiver.
In addition to pain management, many other services are provided by hospice care professionals to help patients and their loved ones cope with the disease and its effects. These include emotional support from trained staff, reading material, music, volunteer visitors and activities. Support for family members includes counseling, respite care (providing a break from care giving), a 24-hour crisis intervention telephone service, grief support groups and referrals for other community resources.
A hospice team in Lawndale, CA focuses on the quality of life rather than the quantity of life. Hospice care is provided to relieve pain and other distressing symptoms caused by a terminal illness. It is not intended to cure the disease, but rather to help patients live as comfortably as possible while they are dying. Comfort can be provided by controlling pain, maintaining dignity and providing emotional support during this challenging process.
How is Hospice Care Provided in Lawndale, CA?
- The doctor or other healthcare professional is the person responsible for determining whether a patient qualifies for hospice care. This may be done through a personal interview, or by referral from another healthcare provider, nursing home, hospital or other agency. A medical diagnosis of terminal illness is required before hospice care may be considered. In some instances the physician may need to refer the patient to a specialist and evaluate medical records, in which case the specialist will make the final determination as to whether hospice care should be provided.
- There may be a hospice case manager assigned to the patient at the beginning of hospice care. This is a healthcare professional who will assist the patient and family in making decisions about their care, keeping them informed about their treatment, and coordinating treatment. It is this person’s responsibility to help with any questions or concerns.
- The homebound patient works with his or her doctor and caregivers to make decisions on important issues such as medications, pain management, bed mobility and other important activities that determine quality of life. Family members are asked what they want regarding caregiving responsibilities such as taking medication and other duties related to caregiving.
- The patient and loved ones are offered education about the disease, the possible treatments available, their own goals for care and any questions that arise. A hospice nurse or social worker may be available to answer questions from the patient or family. There may also be volunteers or professional counselors to help patients deal with grief and loss of dignity.
- Hospice care is provided throughout the period of terminal illness and supportive measures are used as necessary to relieve pain, stress and other symptoms resulting from a terminal illness. Pain is an important issue in end-of-life care. Hospice professionals and their teams will instruct patients and families on how to manage the pain. Pain may be controlled with medication, physical therapy or counseling. Comfort measures such as music, art, socialization and volunteer visitors may be provided to help the patient maintain dignity in a setting that can no longer meet all needs of the patient.
- Although hospice care is not intended to cure the disease or prolong life, palliative care can offer comfort and pain control and may also provide support for families as they cope with loss of a loved one with a terminal illness.
- Hospice care is often covered by Medicare or a private medical insurance policy. It is also provided directly by hospices and community-based organizations that include hospices in their network of services.
- The patient’s primary physician and other treating healthcare providers will continue to provide care during the hospice care period, as appropriate to the patient’s situation, and will be closely involved in planning for the end of life. Specialists may also be consulted to assist with treatment planning for each patient, as appropriate. In some instances, patients may need surgery or other non-end-of-life treatments before they enter hospice care or after they go home from a hospital.
Comprehensive hospice care is unique in that it provides specialized medical, emotional and spiritual support while honoring the patient’s and family’s dignity, choices and preferences. The goal of hospice care in Lawndale, CA is to provide comfort and maximize quality of life, as well as to preserve and strengthen relationships between patients, their loved ones and their healthcare providers. It is a supportive system of care that helps people focus on living each day fully rather than on the fear of death. With proper medical management of pain, symptoms and stress, patients can go home from the hospital or complete their treatment in a nursing home with dignity intact. They will also be reunited with their families who can continue to support them emotionally and may also help them with their care. To learn more about hospice in Lawndale, CA contact Hospice Valley of Los Angeles by calling 818-433-0068.
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