What is Hospice Care? Hospice Care Definition
Hospice care is provided to terminally ill patients who have a life expectancy of fewer than six months. Every patient has the right to die without bodily and emotional pain.
The primary focus behind hospice care is making patients feel comfortable, stable, and dignified during their final months of living.
In addition, hospice care improves the quality of life for the patients, but it does not help prolong life.
Aside from the focus on the patients and their experience, hospice care ensures that the families can handle the emotional stress and trauma related to death.
Curative treatment is an approach in which the goal is to cure the disease and prolong life at all costs.
Palliative care is not curative in nature but is designed to relieve pain and distress and control the disease’s symptoms.
Symptoms that palliative care focuses on relieving include: pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, anorexia, malnutrition, dyspnea or air hunger, psycho-social and spiritual issues, weight loss, dehydration, weakness, the risk for skin impairment, depression, Sleeplessness, and insomnia.
Patient and Caregiver Education
The way hospice care is planned should affect the patient and caregiver in an honest and straightforward method. It is thought that the fear of the unknown is always greater than the fear of the known.
Educating the caregiver in symptom management, hands-on care of the patient, caring for body functions, and teaching regarding the signs and symptoms of approaching hospice patients are important to relieve fears.
How to Initiate Hospice Care
To initiate hospice care, the attending physician must certify that the patient’s illness is terminal and that the patient has a prognosis of 6 months or less to live.
The patient must be willing to forego any further curative treatment and seek only palliative care. The patient and caregiver must understand and agree that we will plan the care based on the patient’s comfort and that our medical staff may not necessarily perform life-support measures.
The patient and caregiver must also understand the prognosis and be willing to participate in the care planning.
Admission to a hospice program is the patient’s and their family’s decision because not all people need or desire hospice care.
Autonomy is one of the attributes of the quality of health care. The patient or family should be the center of all important decisions taken concerning the patient’s care. There shouldn’t be any decisions made without consulting the patient or their family first.
Objectives of Hospice Care
Managing symptoms and improving the quality of life without life-prolonging measures is the main objective of hospice care.
Allowing the patient and caregiver to be involved in the plan of care is a primary aspect of hospice care. It encourages the patient and caregiver to live life to the fullest.
Other objectives include:
- providing continuous support to maintain patient
- family confidences and reassurances to achieve these goals
- educating and supporting the primary caregiver in the home setting that the patient chooses
- providing a clear understanding of death-related issues as it affects much on the performance of caregivers and the quality of hospice care.
81 million children in the United States require pediatric hospice care. In the United States alone, there are 2.5 million deaths annually. About 50,000 deaths are pediatric 0-19 (2.2%).
Children represent 25% of the US population. Half of the childhood deaths are in the first year of life, while half of the infant deaths are in the first month.
Pediatric Palliative Care Diagnosis
There are conditions for which curative treatment is possible but may fail. The following are common diagnoses in children, which make them eligible to receive hospice care.
- Genetic/Congenital (40%)
- Neuromuscular (40%)
- Respiratory (12%)
- Gastrointestinal (10%)
- Cardiovascular (8%)
- Advanced or progressive cancer or cancer with a poor prognosis
- Complex and severe congenital or acquired heart disease
Models of Care
Medical professionals can provide hospice care in the following settings and situations:
- Inpatient consultation palliative care teams
- Inpatient palliative care
- Home hospice
- Perinatal and neonatal hospice
- Concurrent care
So, in conclusion – when selecting the best hospice care from the best hospice company in the DFW area – look no further than AmeriPrime Hospice LLC.
We have helped thousands of people make the transition during their final days in life. We can help you or your loved one or family member as well. Call or contact us today.