According to the California Department of Aging, California’s elderly population is expected to grow more than twice as fast as the total population in the state. As the state’s residents age, there is an increasing need for hospice care services. Death is a natural progression of life and those who are going through the end-of-life stage need special care and attention in order to see it that way. That is just one of the many functions of hospice care. Like many other medical and social systems of care, hospice care is part of the continuum of care within the medical systems for the elderly.
Most people think of hospice in terms of caring for a terminally ill individual during the final six months of life. That is only partially true. Physicians know their patients best, so they typically make the call regarding when to begin the conversation about beginning hospice care. Most physicians find that a good approach is to begin the discussions early, before the patient reaches a critical point, where emotions are calmer and everyone is thinking more clearly. Individuals who have life-limiting illnesses and their family members report being thankful that hospice started early or wishing it had started earlier than it did.
When an individual is facing a life-threatening illness, there is little control over the illness itself, but there is actually much that can be done to control the pain and other symptoms that accompany it. Individuals and their family members will likely have many questions about the use of pain-control medications and their effect on the terminally ill person. Physicians that specialize in eldercare and hospice can explain any myths or questions surrounding the use of strong pain medications and discuss any potential alternatives.
Amber City Hospice, Inc. employs a team of professionals to help terminally ill patients and their families navigate the end-of-life stage. Physicians take a leading role in diagnosing, evaluating, and working with the rest of the team to develop the overall care plan. Other members of the team include skilled nurses, social workers, chaplains, hospice aides, trained volunteers, and bereavement counselors.
Inland Valley Hospice has been an accredited by the Joint Commission of Healthcare Organizations for over 18 years. Inland Valley’s main goal is to promote and provide comfort care to their patients while offering emotional support to those that love and care for them. Hospice workers give individuals confidence to work through the end-of-life stage by showing them how to live out the rest of the time on the terms that make them the most comfortable.
VITAS is one of the largest hospice providers in the country. This provider has over 38 years of experience in hospice care and won the Trailblazer Health Award from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition for expanding awareness of the need for hospice for African Americans. VITAS locations have also taken special training to respond to the needs of the Jewish communities.
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