If your loved has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may have heard the term ‘hospice’ mentioned. You’re probably wondering, “What is Hospice?”
Hospice is for Patients Diagnosed with Less Than Six Months to Live
Hospice care is a special type of care a patient can receive when they are terminally ill. Hospice services are intended for when a patient has been given six months or less to live. So just what is hospice care? Hospice professionals help control pain and make sure the patient stays as comfortable as possible until the end. In addition to physical care, a hospice patient can receive emotional support to help them face their pending death.
When a patient has been diagnosed with less than six months to live and hospice is called in, medical treatments aimed at curing the patient’s illness are stopped. They receive palliative care—or care designed not to heal, but to provide comfort. If your loved one has not passed away after six months hospice won’t just up and leave you. After six months, the patient will be re-evaluated. will be done and hospice will remain with you as long as your doctor determines your condition is fatal. As long as your life is limited the team will stay by your side.
Do you have to go somewhere special to receive hospice care?
You may wonder if you have to leave your home in order to receive hospice care. The answer is no. Hospice providers will come to a patient’s home to provide care and counseling. They usually do not stay at the patient’s bedside for extended periods. Family members and friends typically act as around-the-clock caregivers. If you are not at home and need hospice care, service can be provided for you at a nursing home, hospital, or even a dedicated hospice facility. In either case, if you find yourself needing extra coverage to care for your loved one, you may want to call in a home care agency. They will be able to provide caregivers for any hour of the day or night, for as long as you need them.
Hospice is for Patients’ Loved Ones
Hospice care is not just for the patient, it helps family members deal with what is happening. A team of workers will help with counseling and make sure loved ones understand what is happening with the person facing death. Hospice is there for the entire family, in addition to the patient.
Caring for a loved one who is dying can be physically and emotionally challenging. Know that you will not need to care for them alone. Contact hospice and have a trained healthcare professional to come out and help you with loved one. Don’t try to care for them all by yourself—get the help you both need. Hospice can make a world of difference for some families. Don’t let an inability to pay stop you from reaching out either. Many hospice providers will provide care regardless of your ability to pay.
For more information, visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at http://www.nhpco.org/