One of the most difficult decisions a family must make together is to relegate care of a loved one to a hospice team. It means that everyone must come to terms on all levels that it is time to begin the process of letting go, to acknowledge that someone so near and dear is approaching end-of-life. Not only must the family deal with this acceptance, so must the patient.
Often, patients have an innate knowledge when their time is approaching and family members who are typically the last to accept a terminal prognosis. We’ve seen numerous situations when our patients hang on to squeeze in that last hug, kiss, reminiscence or lingering eye contact.
No doubt, knowing that a beloved family member or friend has limited time left is often unbearable.
It is at this juncture that acceptance takes over and families realize that there is nothing left to be done medically to prolong their loved one’s life and even if they could, the quality-of-life would be greatly diminished. This is the time when most families opt for hospice care.
Calling Hospice Means Making a Final Gesture of Love
As soon as a family actively decides to afford a loved one comfort and the best quality of life possible during the final transition, something phenomenal occurs. Strong family bonds get stronger. Words not spoken for decades are said. Small talk evolves into deep meaningful conversation and even simple silence takes on a loving, spiritual quality.
If your loved one is in a nursing home, there is only so much that they can to do with regard to pain management without overstepping medical boundaries. This is not to say that hospice can’t take place in the context of a nursing home because it can.
Families need to know that hospice can be conducted in comfort of a loved one’s own home, in a hospice care facility or even at a nursing home. Often, patients get close to their nurses and aides, and then expert hospice nurses, a counselor and a spiritual practitioner can be added. This care family is the professional nucleus of your loved one’s transition.
Dying Can Hurt But it Doesn’t Have to
For years, a loved one can experience pain with terminal illness but with hospice care many patients report complete pain relief. Expert medical management of pain medication can lead to peace as the final approach draws near. Often, families report that they wish they would have sought hospice care earlier in the transition. The only requisite for hospice care is that the patient be diagnosed with a terminal condition.
Imagine yourself in the same situation as your loved one. A life-limiting illness is hard to address with family and friends. We must ask ourselves how we would like to be treated if we had weeks or months to live. Everyone has their own vision of how that would look. It is okay to talk about this with family members and engage everyone who is close to your departing loved one in this final chapter.
Long after your loved one is gone, the memories of this journey together will remain and will likely be a source of strength for the rest of your lives.
Understanding the Process
It is important to recognize the rights of terminally ill patients and their families. We know that it is critically important to keep our patients and their family members apprised of their clinical prognosis and updates in condition.
An informed patient and family can work through the decision-making process that determines how their end-of-life care is provided.
Our All-Inclusive Package Provides:
We are reachable every hour of every day. A dedicated hospice care nurse is always available by phone with the ability to expedite further medical treatment. Our multi-disciplinary staff is ready to respond whenever needed to a medical, emotional or psychological emergency.
We know that caregivers need to may become overwhelmed and need to recharge. When this happens, we offer five-day relief stints to caregivers. During this provisioned short-term stay, a caregiver may be admitted to an inpatient facility to rest and recover without having to meet the prerequisite pain and symptom management criteria, knowing that their loved one is fully cared for and that they are nearby.