A pretty common misconception about hospice care is that it is a place. Hospice isn’t a physical building or type of hospital wing – it is a holistic care philosophy that provides comfort to not only terminally ill patients, but to that patient’s family, friends, and caregivers.
While hospice can be provided at an inpatient facility, a majority of hospice care is provided at your loved one’s home, or where they are comfortable and happy.
In-Home Hospice Care for Patients
The goal of hospice care is to provide patients with a comfortable, pain-free environment. This is in accordance with their care team’s guidance and the patient’s wishes for end-of-life care.
As a terminal illness progresses, pain management is required. The patient’s care team will be able to closely monitor their needs and can create a comprehensive care plan designed to provide comfort.
Comfort is key, so specialized therapy sessions, like art therapy or pet therapy visits can maximize physical, emotional, and even spiritual comfort. Along with therapy sessions, counseling sessions can help ease the psychological toll that accompanies a terminal diagnosis. Hospice care provides psychological, emotional, and spiritual counseling to help combat feelings of regret, anger, and grief. Counselors help patients achieve peace of mind and heart during their end-of-life care.
How In-Home Hospice Care Supports Caregivers
Caregivers bear the load when it comes to end-of-life care, being present for their terminally ill loved ones. Hospice pays special attention and diligence to support caregivers. Hospice provides caregivers with training, counseling, education, and general assistance.
Hospice understands that caregivers are the primary source of care and attention toward their loved ones at home, and recognizes the around-the-clock responsibilities that caregiving demands. Hospice care provides licensed medical staff to help administer medications, assist with dietary plans, and provide medical assistance where possible to guarantee the patient’s ultimate comfort as well as maintenance of the caregiver.
In-home care also gives assistance to the caregiver by providing help with everyday domestic tasks like light housekeeping or cooking and making snacks. Hospice care staff acknowledges the demands placed on caregivers and that it can often lead to burnout. To ensure the well-being and overall health of caregivers, hospice offers respite care: a temporary period of in-patient care that allows caregivers to relax, focus, and tend to their own households or self-care.
Every patient’s diagnosis comes with its own challenges for caregivers and loved ones. Hospice provides information regarding your loved one’s terminal illness, including end-of-life information. This allows caregivers to provide optimal care and comfort at home during this trying and emotional time. The stress of being a caregiver can be mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing. Hospice provides skilled counselors to caregivers who can support caregivers or be a listening ear and lend guidance.