What You Need To Know About Hospice Care

What You Need To Know About Hospice Care

here are two ways people approach the issue of death. One is acceptance and the other is denial. There are people who accept death as an inevitable part of a human being’s journey on earth, while there are others who don’t want to face the reality of death.  For those who accept death, the necessary preparations, specifically spiritual and emotional, are taken care of as early as possible. One such preparation is making arrangements for hospice care if diagnosed with a terminal illness. While not every terminally-ill patient wants to face the fact that they are dying, hospice care will make the situation easier for the dying patient and the surviving family.

For many years in the past, hospices were strictly associated with providing care for cancer patients only. Hospice care in today’s setting serves patients diagnosed to be in the final stages of heart, liver or lung disease, Multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS and stroke. Hospice care service is available to anyone with a life-limiting illness. It is the hospice’s and the caring individuals working at the hospice care facility, goal to give the dying patient and their family the comfort and support they need to get through this difficult time. 

Four Levels of Hospice Care

Depending on the patient’s current needs, a hospice care facility provides the four levels of care, which are all covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Routine or in-home care. This is care given to dying patients who wish to spend their remaining days at their own home.
  • Uninterrupted care for management of severe symptoms. This is care given for terminally-ill patients to avoid the uncalled for hospitalization of the patient.
  • Respite care. This provides relief to family and caregivers.
  • In-patient care. Care is given in elected hospice facility for management of uncontrolled symptom which cannot be provided at home.

In the event of a patient’s death, a year of continued support is available for the grieving family. And depending on the grief counselor’s evaluation on the family’s coping skills, the level of bereavement support needed by the family will be provided in that first year after their loss. 

Two of the most preferred and availed service levels are in-home hospice and in-patient care. The services offered by various hospice facilities differ from facility to facility. Some hospice offer extensive programs while others offer a limited scope.

In-home Hospice

In-home hospice is ideal for elderly people in Louisiana who want to receive care in their own home. Dying people almost always have the same wish of being able to spend their remaining days with loved ones during such a difficult time. The advantage of in-home hospice is not having designated visiting hours and other guidelines like in some hospice facility. With in-home service, the following are included:

  • 24/7 Care. Family members serve as the primary caregivers and round the clock support is available from the different groups providing the service. Available to assist 24/7 are registered nurses. The in-home team helps manage pain of terminally-ill patients. They can also assist in simple things like reading, talking or listening to the patient.
  • Medical Attention. Hospice teams who visit the patients at home are also able to do most procedures usually done in a hospital. Primary care physicians may assign the registered nurses to set up IV systems and administer daily medications.

In-patient Care

Care is provided in designated facilities like a nursing home, hospice care center, or hospital, in case in-home care is not possible or advisable. The priority is to give relief to terminally-ill patients through pain and symptoms management. The goal, like in other set-up, is to provide comfort and maintain the best possible quality of life for the patient. The program addresses the patient’s spiritual and mental health needs, aside from ensuring their physical well-being and comfort. The following services are included:

  • Nursing care. The necessary equipment available in the facility allows caregivers to monitor the condition of a patient to better control their pain and other discomforts.
  • Counseling. This is another component of this service available through in-house psychiatrists and therapists.
  • Bereavement. This service includes support to the grieving family even after the patient’s death. Help with the coping process is provided to the family in grief.

The challenges and needs of the present generation of seniors are gradually being met and satisfied in most in-home hospice care facilities. In-home care is less expensive and therefore preferred by many families. In-home care offers the patient more solace and comfort in the end.

A family-centered approach, hospice care includes a team of professional: the physician, the registered nurses, hospice medical director, social workers, therapists, dietician, chaplains, hospice-trained volunteers, counselors, and home health aides. The hospice team works together in focusing on the patient’s needs including physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects, as well as providing needed medical equipment, supplies and medications.

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Cedric Loiselle is a highly talented writer providing quality articles for a wide range of niches including health, fitness, and hospice services. If you are looking for a good Louisiana hospice, check out his articles for tips and advice.