Hospice care in South El Monte, CA is a form of end-of-life care for people who are terminally ill. It is designed to provide comfort, companionship and pain management. At any time during the course of their illness, the patient has the right to choose hospice care over other forms of medical care. In fact, many hospitals are now required to offer hospice care even if patients have not formally requested it. Hospice care in South El Monte, CA is a controversial subject and receiving it can be difficult in today’s health system. But there is no denying that hospice care often serves as an important source of emotional support for grieving family members.

Patient with family receiving hospice care in South El Monte, CA

Understanding Hospice Care

Hospice care in South El Monte, CA is principally administered by a team of specially trained nurses who come to know and respect the patient during his or her last months. These nurses think of themselves as being “their family’s advocate,” watching over the patient’s needs and making sure that appropriate pain medication, emotional and spiritual needs are met. The team includes two staff nurses, two nursing assistants and one social worker who does community outreach (this professional will also be the primary point of contact for family members).

The social worker coordinates the patient’s care with other doctors and agencies, including hospice itself, to ensure that the patient receives the most complete care possible. In addition, other professionals may be called in on a rotating basis to assist with specific health issues. These may include psychiatrists for emotional support, physical therapists for pain management and occupational therapists for mobility and independence issues.

Finally, although each team is different in its approach to service delivery there are some basic principles of hospice philosophy that hold true in every case. First of all, every person who enters a hospice program has a primary physician who remains responsible for ordering all further care and medication after the patient enters hospice care. But the patient’s primary physician will coordinate all care with the hospice team. A second point is that patients are encouraged to see their primary physicians as little as possible, because they will be able to continue to do so after their illness has progressed to the point where they are unable to receive medical care. Finally, all care is based on the principle of “symptom management,” which means that symptoms and side-effects are controlled (reduced) rather than eliminated.

Hospice Services Offered

Hospice care in South El Monte, CA is based on the idea that the best way to achieve comfort and security for a dying patient is to allow him or her to remain as independent as possible. Hospice teams work with patients’ families to set goals for independence. They then help patients live life as fully and actively (within reason) as possible, even if only for a few weeks or months.

A few services offered by hospice in South El Monte, CA are:

  • Provides comfort, companionship and pain management
  • Withdraws or restricts life sustaining treatment when patient’s terminal stage becomes irreversible or too painful
  • Keeps patients and family members informed about the patient’s condition, medications and treatments
  • Helps patients and families make health care decisions based on their values, beliefs and wishes.
  • Medical equipment and other supplies
  • Social and emotional support services
  • Spiritual support services
  • Resource to find housing, financial aid, hospice insurance and related community resources.

Signs of Needing Hospice Care

If your loved one is showing any of the following signs, it may be time to consider hospice care:

  • Your loved one has a life expectancy of less than 6 months.
  • Your loved one is in pain and cannot be adequately controlled by medications. Although pain is inevitable as death approaches, hospice care will provide extra access to pain medication if needed. You should always seek out appropriate relief for your loved ones as soon as they express discomfort or ask for it.
  • Your loved one cannot get out of bed or move without help. Not all ill or dying people will require a wheelchair, but if you suspect this may be the case, request that your family member’s doctor contact the hospice team for further assessment.
  • Your loved one’s appetite and activity level has become low. This is commonly seen in those with advanced cancer. Hospice care will help monitor these vital signs and often ensure that these aspects of your loved one’s health are maintained.
  • Your loved one is showing signs of mental confusion. This may be due to a variety of conditions, including the side effects of pain medications. Seek help for such problems as soon as you can. You should also consider hospice care if you or your loved one cannot sleep, because this is an early stage symptom of many terminal illnesses.
  • You and your family have a need for counseling services to cope with the stress and discomfort that comes with terminal illness. At the same time, you want to ensure that physical comfort and pain management are maintained.

How is hospice different from other medical care?

Hospitals and doctor offices are places for health care. Hospice is about comfort and compassion, formed around each patient’s unique needs. In today’s medical system, there are often limited opportunities to provide either of these.

Hospice care in South El Monte, CA is provided in your loved one’s own home, or another familiar place to them. Hospice works closely with your family, doctors and the local community to provide comprehensive care that goes beyond traditional medical treatment. You can ask the hospice nurse any question or concern you have regarding your loved one’s pain and other symptoms.

The hospice team in South El Monte, CA is there to help you, as patient and primary caregiver. Hospice care is provided by nurses, social workers and other professionals who understand it is a partnership between you and your loved one.

Hospice care in South El Monte, CA may not be right for every person facing a terminal illness. However, it is a very good option when it is needed and can make all the difference in helping you and your loved one live with dignity. You should always discuss hospice care with your primary physician or another doctor who specializes in treating terminal illness.

If you have any further questions about hospice, contact the Hospice Valley of Los Angeles! Call 818-433-0068.