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People in the health care field describe hospice care as the provision of support and care for terminally-ill patients. A hospice care facility’s goal is to make the patient as comfortable as can be with their remaining life.
Instead of focusing on trying other treatment plans or alternative cure, a hospice care facility offers an option for the patient to spend the remaining days in as happy as possible environment with the patient given the experience to a good quality life despite the terminal illness.
A hospice care’s philosophy is that which accepts death as a reality and as an inevitable part of life that one must come to terms to.
To give the terminally ill patients the best hospice care is to provide them with emotional support, spiritual care and medical services.
The concept of hospice care aids the family members of terminally-ill patients to cope with caring for a dying family member at the same time that everyone is preparing emotionally for the inevitable.
Importance of Hospice Care
Terminally-ill patients suffer indescribable and excruciating pain especially at the final stages of the illness. Giving them short-term relief from such intolerable pain and other symptoms will somehow improve the quality of life of the patient during their final living days.
Both the patients and their families are spared from suffering emotionally – feeling the pain of each other as the families watch the patients endure the intolerable pain.
In a hospice care, everyone is focused in alleviating the pain and making the last days pain-free.
Basic Hospice Care Services Provided
Most of the hospice care facilities operate on the same principles and goal – that of giving the best care and comfort to the patient. Some of the basic services included in hospice care plans are:
- Primary medical care aimed at relieving pain and symptoms
- Supply of medicines and equipment as needed
- Counseling for the patient and the family to prepare them mentally, spiritually and emotionally
- Guidance with the issues associated with life clearance
- Gives a break to family and friend who provided care for the patient while in the hospital
- Offers volunteer support like meal preparation and performing chores
- Counseling and support after patient’s death
People Who Need Hospice Care
In New Orleans and in other states, people suffering from a terminal illness and termed incurable by doctors are referred to a hospice-facility.
Terminally-ill patients with life expectancy as determined by the doctors to be less than 6 months are also referred to hospice care.
As the goal of all hospice care facilities, whether it is in New Orleans or other states, is to provide comfort to the patients for the remainder of their living days, patients who live longer than the predicted life expectancy should continue to receive hospice care.
When the condition of the patient gets better and upon recommendation of the doctor, hospice care may be stopped.
Hospice care services are given to every patient referred by doctors as needing hospice care regardless of age, color, sex, religion, cultural background, social status, diagnosis of health problem.
Additionally, hospice care services are covered by Medicare and most Medicaid programs so the patients do not have to pay anything to the hospice care facility.
Hospice Care Settings
Hospice care may be provided at hospice care facilities, hospitals, nursing home facilities or at the patient’s home. The patient and the family may decide on what settings they would like the patient to receive hospice care. More commonly opted for is in-home hospice care.
Dying patients may want to spend their remaining days in their own home and not in the hospital or a hospice care center. For in-home hospice care program, hospice care providers visit the patient in his or her home at specified hours.
Aside from hospice care, hospice can also offer help in meal preparation and even housekeeping. Keeping the patient eating regularly is an important factor in hospice care since the patient needs all the strength in dealing with the rigorous treatment procedures administered by hospice care providers.
Hospice care given at home may include a primary care giver – a family member who can take care of the patient and spend time with the patient.
A hospice medical practitioner who is part of the hospice care team will be visiting the patient at home regularly. The hospice team includes pharmacists, psychologists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, music therapists and physical therapists.
They will be in charge with the supervision and hands-on care of the patient. Other people who may help in the program are spiritual counselors, home health aides, social workers and volunteers.
While some people are open to the concept of hospice care, there are still a lot of people who view terminal illness and death differently, thereby rejecting the idea of availing hospice care program.
People – the dying and the living, should understand how hospice care can make a difference between a painful suffering and a comfortable existence. Hospice care in all its existence has been helping make life – and death, easier to deal with for a lot of people.