A common question among those considering hospice care for their loved ones is ‘when is the right time to contact a hospice?’. Upon researching into the advantages of hospice care, many find that ‘as soon as possible’ is the best answer. The professionals who work in a hospice are a specialist in end-of-life care and they can help to make a person’s last months as comfortable as possible. Hospice care also helps the caregiver, as it provides an additional layer of support.
Anyone suffering from a terminal disease with less than six months left to live is eligible for hospice care. If a person does live for longer than six months, they can still receive care with a physician’s approval. All hospice services are covered by Medicaid, Medicare and most other types of insurance, and there are also non-for-profit hospices who will provide a service regardless of the individual’s ability to pay.
Anyone in the patient’s life can refer them to a hospice. This could be a son or daughter, a husband or wife, or even a clergyman. Most patients, however, are referred by their physicians. In addition, there is also such a thing as an ‘at home’ hospice. What this means is that the patient is cared for at home, but by professionals. Check out the best at home hospice in Chicago for more information.
Making the Most of the Final Stages
Hospice care provides a comfortable environment for the patient and their loved ones. The aim is to provide the medical supervision that the patient needs, while also enabling them to remain close to loved ones. Most hospices will provide each patient with a care team, which can include a social worker, a doctor, a nurse, a bereavement counselor, a clergy, and therapists. In these teams, the caregivers focus on the patient as opposed to the illness, to try and help them make the most of the final stages of life.
Quality of Life
A lot of terminal conditions can cause the patient to feel significant pain. Hospice carers aim to eliminate this as much as possible, by addressing the pain in its early stages before it gets severe. The care team will prescribe and administer medication in the way that suits the patient best, with the aim of eliminating pain as much as possible.
Hospices also aim to make the quality of life as high as possible. If a patient needs an oxygen tank to move around, for example, they will supply it. If a patient needs a high-quality hospital bed to have a good night’s sleep, they will supply this too. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the sooner you seek hospice care for your loved one, the sooner they will have access to all of the above.
Inquiring about hospice care can be a very difficult thing to do for most people. However, as you can see, a hospice really can make the last few months of your loved one’s life comfortable and enjoyable.