When a loved one is terminally ill, it is normal to face painful emotions and subjective experiences. If the disease cannot be cured, hospice care becomes a care option. Hospice care can control your pain and help you cope with and endure this situation. Hospice care is not only a service but also a concept. The concept of hospice care is that quality of life is more important than quantity, emphasizing care rather than treatment. The philosophy of hospice care accepts that death is the last stage of life and strives to provide patients with care and a comfortable environment in the last days.
Consequently, hospice care treats the person and symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself. A professional team works together to control symptoms so that a person can spend the last days with dignity and quality and spend them in the company of their loved ones. Hospice care is also family-centric—it involves patients and family members in decision-making.
In addition, hospice care organizations have introduced some methods of managing the death process. There are healthier ways to negotiate people’s journey from life to death and the consequences of grief experienced by loved ones. In short, hospice care providers adopt the concept of care, caring for patients with life-limiting diseases and their relatives.
Brief Introduction Of Hospice Care
Hospice care is a comprehensive, holistic care and support plan for terminally ill patients and their families. It is a care model and concept that focuses on providing palliative care for patients with life-limiting diseases, alleviating patients’ pain and other symptoms, taking care of their family/relatives’ emotional and spiritual needs and supporting them. More specifically, the service aims to provide comprehensive palliative care for patients with a prognosis of no more than six months (if the disease follows a natural course).
Family focus – the family is the unit of care and service throughout the bereavement period.
The interdisciplinary approach – The team consists of patient doctors, hospice doctors, nurses, social workers, pastors and well-trained volunteers. They meet regularly to assess the needs of the patient and family.
Symptom control – focus on symptom management and palliative care. The main focus of the program is to make each patient as painless as possible.
Continuity of care – home care is used, such as during hospitalization or transfer to a professional nursing facility, the care of the patient and family members will be maintained during the transition period.
Service – hospice staff is on standby at any time to serve patients and their families. A hospice care team member can also be present at the end of the patient’s life as needed.
Patient Participation – The patient is seen as an active participant in their care plan. This allows patients to control their lives.
The consultation – The team includes social workers, clergy and well-trained volunteers who help patients and their families receive a diagnosis and resolve physical and emotional issues surrounding the death of their loved ones.
Hospice Care Philosophy
The concept of hospice care is that the dying person has the right to enjoy the highest possible quality of life in a way that suits their lifestyle. This quality of life is achieved through a multidisciplinary healthcare plan involving patients and family members. The plan covers the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of patients. Dying patients are entitled to care and comfort measures to ensure that patients are not numb due to pain and anxiety but remain alert, comfortable and able to enjoy interpersonal relationships in their environment. Hospice care extends to various living environments outside the home. Patients receive treatment in professional nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, host families and nursing homes as well as retirement facilities. This service is dedicated to making people as safe and relaxed as possible in their last days.
This is the philosophy behind it:
• Holistic Care: elderly patients struggle not only emotionally but also physically. They suffer from depressive episodes, as well as anger, sadness and helplessness. The hospice staff regularly supports and comforts patients. Hospices are doing their best to help solve these problems.
• Help Fulfill The Dying Wish – some patients will have some regrets or hope to do something before they die. This can range from restoring friendships to watching their favorite movies.
• Pain Relief – The goal of hospice practitioners is to minimize the suffering of patients and achieve this goal through appropriate treatment, analgesics, pain management and other related methods. The goal is to reduce pain as much as possible and ensure that patients are more relaxed at any time of the day without dealing with discomfort.
Hospice Care Philosophy: Compassionate Care Eligibility
When curative treatment is no longer available, hospice care can benefit patients and provide significant emotional and physical support for their families. The hospice service will not automatically terminate after six months — some people who receive hospice care live longer. For example, if the patient’s doctor re-certifies that the patient is terminally ill, Medicare will continue to provide hospice insurance after six months. Hospice care is not only applicable to elderly patients. Children receive hospice care, as do patients with any end-stage chronic disease and patients with progressive degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
The goal of hospice care is to make the patient as comfortable as possible by focusing on three related aspects:
- The patient’s physical, emotional and mental health
Hospice consultation also helps patients and their families accept this process and provide them with a support network.
Hospice Philosophy: Team Approach
A group of people attending to hospice patients this is referred to as hospice care team. The team includes the patient’s family and doctors, nurses, social workers, pastors, home health assistants and well-trained volunteers. The team develops a personal care plan and regularly evaluates it to ensure quality care is provided. The goal is to control pain and symptoms to feel comfortable and the family of the patient feels comfortable as well through the process. Usually, the team provides skilled nursing, patient and family social services, mental care, pain control and symptom management, medical equipment and medications, personal care and simple housekeeping services. The team also helps the family through grief and provides 12 months of bereavement follow-up services. Volunteers provide companionship, practical help and family relief.
The Difference Between Hospice & Palliative Care
Palliative care and hospice care can provide comfort. But palliative care can be started at the time of diagnosis and it can also be done at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment for the disease ceases and when the person is unable to survive the disease.
The Philosophy Of Palliative Care
Palliative care is a way to improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems related to life-threatening diseases by preventing and alleviating suffering.
Hospice Care Services
Hospice care services include:
- Medical equipment (such as hospital beds, wheelchairs or walking aids)
- Doctor services
- Medications to control pain and other symptoms
- Home health aide services
- Physical and occupational therapy.
Other Care Services
- It provides a range of complementary therapies, including massage, aromatherapy to reduce stress, increase energy and improve relaxation and sleep.
- In addition, they also provide rehabilitation services to maintain or build strength, relearn skills or find new ways of doing things based on goals and interests, so that people can live as fully as possible.
Benefits Of Hospice Care
Some of the benefits provided by hospice care are:
- Familiar environment
Hospice care allows your loved ones to stay at home. Whether they live alone or with you, they will be taken care of by the hospice care team. This means that even if they are uncomfortable, they can experience that discomfort in a familiar environment.
- Intensive treatment
The hospice care team provides medication and treatment without going to a hospital or other nursing facility to provide equivalent care. This is especially useful for those who need a high degree of care.
- Bereavement counseling
Hospice care is for those who are near the end of life. Dealing with grief is not easy. They know that when one of their patients dies, it does not mean that their work is over. The hospice team will provide guidance and counseling to the family to deal with this situation as well.
Who Can Benefit From Hospice Care?
Hospice care is suitable for terminally ill patients who are expected to have only six months or less. However, as long as the patient’s doctor and hospice care team prove that the condition is still life-limiting, hospice care can be provided. Many people in hospice care have cancer, while others have heart disease, dementia, kidney failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Joining hospice care early will help you live better and live longer. Hospice care reduces the burden on the family, reduces the possibility of complex grief in the family and prepares family members for the death of their loved ones. Hospice care also allows patients to receive care in the facility for a period of time, not because the patient needs it but because the home care staff needs rest. This is called respite care.
Where To Provide Hospice Care Services?
Most hospice care is provided at home, family members are usually the main caregivers. However, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and specialized hospice facilities also offer hospice care services. Wherever hospice care is provided, hospitalization is sometimes required. For example, if the hospice team in the home environment cannot control the symptoms, it may require hospitalization.
Who Is Involved In Hospice Care?
If you do not receive hospice care in a specialized facility, hospice staff will regularly visit your home or other places you reside. Hospice staff is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The hospice team usually includes:
Home health assistant
How Is Hospice Care Funded?
Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs and private insurance usually pay for hospice care. Although every hospice plan has its policy on paying for care, services are generally provided based on need rather than the ability to pay. Ask about payment methods before choosing a hospice plan.
Hospice care is a holistic care approach whose working principle is to improve the quality of life of patients and their families who are facing problems related to life-threatening diseases by preventing and alleviating suffering. This is accomplished through early recognition and impeccable evaluation and treatment of pain and other physical, mental and spiritual problems.
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