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Last Updated on September 10, 2021 by Frank Davis
There are many of us who have had the same medical professional for a long time, and who would not change doctors for anybody else. In times of illness and trouble, they are the person we turn to and rely on when we are feeling unwell. To a certain extent, they have become an integral part of the family. Normally, doctors only want what is best for their patients. So why would a doctor recommend hospice care?
Well, your doctor would recommend hospice care because he or she would want to relieve the pain and symptoms caused by the advanced stages of your illness. It includes providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support through an interdisciplinary team of professionals. Among the members of this team you will find doctors, nurses, therapists, counselors, home health aides, and volunteers.
In hospice care, friends, family, and members of your health care team provide support, so that you may focus on what is important. It is the purpose of this article to outline the types of services that hospice provides and explain what to expect.
What is Hospice Care
Hospice by definition means – a program designed to provide palliative care and emotional support to the terminally ill in a home or homelike setting so that quality of life is maintained and family members may be active participants in care. The main goal of hospice care is to reduce pain and symptoms. This includes symptoms like vomiting, nausea, shortness of breath, and restlessness.
It is no longer necessary to do aggressive treatments as the focus has now shifted to comfort measurements. Therefore, you will not experience the adverse side effects associated with treatment. During this period, you will focus on the things that are important to you, such as family, friends, and your health. If by chance, you do intend to undergo curative treatment, we recommend to discuss your choices with your doctor.
It is the goal of our team to create for you a holistic and caring environment that is not only based on competence, but also on empathy. The team will be there to assist you in every step of your journey.
Among the services provided by the interdisciplinary team are the following:
- Nursing services: In hospice, every two to three days, a nurse case manager visits the patient. The hospice staff is available 24/7, so patients and their caregivers can reach an on-call nurse any time of the day.
- Physician participation: The regular physician of a hospice patient usually supervises and cares for the patient, as well as working with the hospice physician to ensure that the patient’s needs are met.
- Medical social services: A social worker is assigned to each patient and he/she is responsible for assisting them in evaluating and addressing their physical, psychological, and/or social needs.
- Counseling services: For cases where patients and/or their caregivers need more comprehensive and compassionate care, hospice organizations can provide and arrange the following services: dietary services, as needed; pastoral assistance; and counseling for bereaved families and caregivers following the death of a patient.
- Home-health aide: In many cases, aides are responsible for providing non-medical care to patients and they visit them between two and three times per week.
- Medication: In general, hospice programs generally pay for all or most of the medications that are directly related to the hospice diagnosis, as well as those medications aimed at controlling, reducing, or easing pain or symptoms.
- Medical equipment: The hospice must be equipped with all the necessary equipment to provide hospice care to the patients at home in the most comfortable and safe environment possible. An example could be hospital beds, wheel chairs, oxygen, latex gloves, along with adult diapers, bandages, etc.
- Respite care: Caretakers of the elderly may require temporary or short-term assistance in order to prevent burnout and to maintain a moderate level of stress.
- Therapists: Hospice may need to arrange the services of a physical, occupational, or speech therapist to provide assistance to the patient, according to their needs and preferences.
A doctor may recommend hospice because of a number of reasons. Shortly stated, these services aim to give you care that will give you comfort, dignity, and support in the time of need. Patients have the opportunity to take advantage of many benefits that come with hospice care. The primary purpose of hospice care is to enhance quality of life for patients by providing physical, emotional, and spiritual care. It may be difficult to decide whether to seek hospice care, but it is all about receiving the support you require from family, friends, as well as healthcare professionals.