There is nothing harder to do than to care for a loved one towards the end of their life. If you believe that you cannot care for an ill loved one, never feel guilty, because not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver.
Every city has a hospice house or hospice staff through your local hospital, available to give you and your loved one support and care. Hospice Houses are becoming more prevalent than in previous years.
When you enter into hospice care, doctors have told you and your family that there is nothing more that your doctor can do to make your health improve, and death for that person is a possible reality.
Doctors can re-certify your terminal condition at the end of six months. This re-certification by the doctors assures your insurance is going to pay for hospice services. In some instances, you may surprise your doctors and recover.
Hospice in a Nutshell
Hospice care is a specialized care for patients who have six to eight months to live. Hospice staff is trained to supply you and your family with physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs when death is imminent.
The primary basis for hospice care is comfort and to alleviate pain issues. It is always the goal of hospice caregivers to enhance your quality of life as much as possible.
If you are caring for a loved one at home, hospice staff comes daily to help you meet personal hygiene needs and help with any emotional challenges. They are available 24/7 for questions and concerns.
Hospice services are paid for by insurance if the doctor certifies your condition as terminal and needing hospice care.
An IV can be ordered to give pain medications, but usually, these medicines are given via under the tongue, in patch form, or rectally. Your doctor may order medications to alleviate breathing problems, and nausea in addition to oxygen administered as a comfort measure.
What is Palliative Care?
The focus of palliative care is the comfort of the patient as is the same in hospice care.
While hospice care starts when all treatments stop, and you are deemed terminal by the doctor, palliative care begins at the time the doctor gives you the diagnosis and starts your treatment plan of care.
Medical staff provides you with palliative care to give you relief from the symptoms of your diagnosis. The goal of palliative care is to help you and your family through the difficult time.
Palliative care works to improve your quality of life if you have a life-limiting illness involving not just your physical body, but emotional and mental status. When medical staff reduces your pain, this in itself increases your quality of life. To assure quality palliative care, the doctor must identify your diagnosis early and administer the proper pain treatments.