The mention of the word hospice has a negative connotation for many people. Discussion about hospice causes many patients and their family members to be afraid and concerned. Fear typically stems from the unknown. Hospice workers are trained on how to shift the patient and family members’ focus toward physical comfort and peace of mind during the end stage of life. Hospice workers will understand the uniqueness of the family and show them how to signify this stage by celebrating life and treasuring memories.
Caring for someone that needs hospice care can be a rewarding experience, but many people fail to recognize how exhausting it is. Many experts suggest that caregivers that provide full-time care for more than a couple of months should try to find a respite provider. Getting respite care early helps caregivers be strong enough so that they can be more available to their loved one later on in the end-of-life stage. When normal sleeping and eating habits change drastically, it’s a good sign that caregivers need a break. It’s also important for senior caregivers to pay attention to others that notice signs of stress. Others can often notice signs of stress before the caregiver does.
Physicians determine the right time to begin the discussion about hospice. The time to begin hospice is different for everyone, but there are a few typical signs that it’s time for hospice. One of the signs is when a patient is making frequent trips to the emergency room. Patients that are weak, frail, or have extreme fatigue may also be good candidates for hospice. Seriously ill people also usually lack an appetite and have an unhealthy weight loss. If a senior has these symptoms along with a loss of pleasure or interest in doing activities they once enjoyed, it may be time to discuss beginning hospice care with the patient’s physician.
VITAS Hospice provides care in the patient’s home, in nursing centers, hospitals, assisted living facilities, or in a residential hospice center. They treat specific illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. They also provide palliative care, telecare, music therapy, and pet therapy. Family caregivers can get bereavement and grief care. They will also deliver medical equipment to the home. Services are provided around the clock.
AVOW is a hospice program that helps individuals with life-limiting illnesses and their families during the end-of-life stage. Patients can get their medical supplies, equipment, and prescriptions provided and delivered to their homes. Hospice workers will provide massage therapy, music therapy, Reiki, and hand aromatherapy to relieve pain and provide comfort. Religious leaders are invited to be part of the hospice team. Hospice aides provide personal care such as bathing, shaving, grooming, nail and hair care. Trained volunteers offer help with errands and provide companionship.
Hope HealthCare Services offers seriously ill patients and their families' physical and emotional comfort to individuals with serious illnesses. When curative care is no longer appropriate or desired, the hospice team is called in to support the patient and the family. The program includes palliative care, art therapy, music therapy, and a pet program. Hope Hospice also has a special VALOR program for veterans.
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