Hospice care benefits not just the terminally ill patient but the family of the patient as well. The review of the patient’s needs and forming the best plan to offer comfort and pain management is important.
When a relative is faced with the challenge of caring for a terminally ill relative it is often the first time they’ve ever encountered something like this. 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.
Kindhearted, supportive members provide an essential service to the patients and their families. From picking up medications to being a shoulder during this time, hospice care team will provide the patient and the family with the knowledge, assistance and encouragement needed at this time.
Responsibilities of the Hospice Team
Hospice care workers are a team that includes the doctor, a registered nurse, a home health care worker, a volunteer, a social services person and the chaplain. Every member of the Hospice team caters to the needs of each individual patient to maximize their comfort.
The hospice nurse is available 24/7 and can make a home visit anytime the need arises. When people are terminally ill, their family, especially the primary caregiver is on an emotional rollercoaster. The feelings of helplessness are overwhelming and this can be alleviated by the hospice nurse. They can help the caregiver by teaching them what they need to do to care for their loved one.
The nurse will consult with the patient’s physician. They will relate any needs of the patient to the doctor so that it can be taken care of and any instructions from the doctor can be relayed to the primary care giver. This is another way in which hospice provides support to patients and their families.
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.
An Age-Old Concept
Hospice is an old concept. Since medieval times the concept of hospice has been offering those who were ill or wounded a final resting place and comfort. Hospice in current times is the emphasis on patients and their families, providing a program that enriches their quality of life.
The preparation of the patient and the family for the outcome of the illness is focused on for each family as they all have their own unique situation. By providing this service in a kind and sensitive way the patient and the family are better prepared.
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. Caring for a family member that is dying is very stressful and that is why Hospice exists – to give assistance and support to both the patient as well as the family.