Hospice Care - A Humane And Compassionate Option For The Terminally Ill

| Saturday, February 12, 2011
By Dr. Fabrizio Di Noto

Hospice care is a provider of many beneficial aspects when a member of a family is facing terminal illness. In the best interests of the family and the patient, they are provided with everything that is needed. The patient's needs are assessed and the plan that will provide the best solution for them at this time is implemented with an emphasis on comfort and pain management.

Often when family members are faced with the terminal illness of a loved one, they are at a loss. They are caring for their husband, father, mother or grandmother and they are unsure of what to do or what not to do in certain situations. Hospice volunteers are always available by telephone to assist with any questions or concerns.

The members are supportive and caring and this is an essential need of the patients as well as their families at this time. Providing a variety of services from listening to picking up medications are just part of the services the hospice team can provide along with the encouragement, assistance and knowledge they can share with the family.

The Team Provided by Hospice

The team of hospice care workers will include the physician, a registered nurse, a home health care aide, a volunteer, a social services worker and a chaplain. They are all integral parts of the team that coordinate the care to make the patient more comfortable.

The nurse for hospice is available on a 24/7 basis and will come to the home anytime the family feels it is necessary. They will help to alleviate the feelings of helplessness felt by the family due to it being such an emotional time. By providing them with instructions on how to care for their loved one, the feelings are replaced by confidence.

Consultations with the attending physician are a part of this plan. Needs identified by the visiting hospice nurse can be relayed to the doctor and the care needed can be coordinated with the primary care giver. One of the most beneficial aspects of hospice care is the support they provide to the patient and his family.

The home health care aide will provide personal care for the patient. In addition, any medical equipment that is needed to allow the patient to be more comfortable can be provided by the social worker. This can include hospital beds, equipment for providing oxygen to the patient and any other equipment that is essential to the well being of the patient allowing them to stay at home during their last days.

The chaplain can help with the final plans, such as memorial services and arrangements for the funeral. They offer spiritual support during this time.

The Concept is not New

Hospice has been around for a long time. As a matter of fact, since medieval times they have offered the ill or wounded a final place to rest and the comfort needed. The hospice of today focuses on providing patients and their families with the quality of life they deserve.

The preparation for the final stages of an illness and the eventual death is what hospice does. Each person is different, therefore the services are individualized. How hospice handles this with a sensitive and responsive manner is beneficial to the patient and their family as they prepare for this event.

Many of the patients who receive hospice care are cancer patients. No one is turned down under no circumstances regardless of their illness or their age. Patients who have a limited amount of time to live are provided with this care. Their needs and wishes to remain at home during this time are respected by making them comfortable and providing for their needs during their final days.

Hospice care is the link that provides peace and comfort for the patient as well as the family. The effect of a dying family member can be very hard to deal with and one of the very important goals of hospice care is to give comfort to both - the patient and the family.

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