With World Hospice and Palliative Care Day coming up again on October 13th, we wanted to commemorate the event by offering a closer look at what hospice home care can offer those patients who do not want to spend their remaining time in an unfamiliar place.
What is hospice home care?
Hospice home care provides strong comfort and therapeutic support to individuals at the end of their lives, and does so in the familiar atmosphere of home. According to research from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, 80% of chronic disease patients say they want to avoid hospitalization when they are dying, but other survey data from across the United States suggests that only about 20% of Americans die at home. Sadly, many people are not able to fulfill their final wishes, and hospice home care is seeking to solve this problem.
Taking a team approach, hospice home care can involve many different types of professionals, both with and without medical training, and also includes a patient’s friends and family in whatever ways work best for them.
Here at MediQuest, our caregivers provide support to patients under hospice care in a variety of ways, which includes relieving the grief and exhaustion families and close friends of hospice patients often feel.
Professional caregivers like nurses and aides are a core part of the hospice home care team, along with a patient’s doctors.
Additionally, social workers, spiritual care advisors like pastors or chaplains, physical therapists, and even volunteers who dedicate their time to visiting hospice patients may be involved. In the end, making the patient as comfortable as possible is the priority of hospice home care.
How do I know my loved one is really ready for hospice care?
Often, your loved one’s doctor will make the recommendation to the patient and family members to initiate service for hospice care. It’s important to remember that entering hospice care does not necessarily mean that medical treatment stops, or that your loved one’s doctor is “giving up” on them. In fact, doctors recommend hospice care to provide comfort and a better quality of life for those with limited time left.
Many patients actually live longer than expected and are happier in their remaining time when they are under the compassionate care of hospice. There is less confusion about the next steps for both patient and family members when the decision to undergo hospice is made and everyone involved can focus on each other instead of the unknown.
How do professional caregivers help?
As we mentioned previously, professional caregivers are an essential part of any hospice home care team. Here at MediQuest, our caregivers offer support to hospice patients by providing any or all of the services that caregivers usually perform – from help with ADLs to coordinating with other members of a care team to providing companionship to patients.
They also offer relief for often overburdened family members and friends of the dying person through respite care services.
Are you facing hospice care for a loved one, or are you unsure whether it could be time to consider the possibility? Get in touch with us here at MediQuest today to talk over your questions and concerns. We’re here to help.