When a patient realizes that the end of life is approaching due to a terminal condition or illness, his or her perspective on the world is bound to change. Since the illness cannot be cured by any known treatment or managed indefinitely by any known treatment plan, the focus of healthcare begins to change. Instead of thinking about aggressive or invasive treatments like surgeries, strong antibiotics or chemotherapy, other aspects of treatment become more important, such as compassionate pain management and improvement of the quality of life during the final days of the person’s life. Hospice care is a form of end-of-life care that focuses on these other aspects of treatment, and can bring comfort to the patient and the patient’s family during these times.
When to Start Hospice Care
When it has become apparent that an illness is not responding to treatment or that it is terminal and that a cure is not available, it may be time to initiate a hospice care program. All too often, people perceive the idea of hospice care as a form of “giving up hope,” and for that reason they will not discuss the possibility of using this care until the last stages of the illness. However, hospice care does not mean “giving up” at all. It simply means that the focus of care has shifted, in order that the emphasis is then placed on the patient’s comfort and quality of life, rather than aggressive treatment that may also be painful and debilitating. If a patient’s condition begins to improve, the option to choose another form of more aggressive treatment always remains available and the treatment options can be reevaluated and changed at that time.
Bereavement care is also a part of hospice care, and is care that is given by the hospice team to family members or loved ones of the deceased patient after he or she dies. Hospice care professionals are trained to help the survivors through the grieving process, and can provide counseling and emotional support to the family during those difficult times immediately following the patient’s death. These trained professionals can also recommend other ongoing services such as support groups whose members have also experienced a recent loss. Talking with others and staying connected plays an important role in helping the survivors of a deceased hospice patient get through the grieving process in a healthy way, and with the necessary support to allow the person to heal during this difficult time.
Learn More About Hospice Care Today
If you’re interested in learning more about end of life and hospice care services, contact Ameriprime Hospice today by calling 1-800-899-9790.