Most people find it difficult to understand what palliative care really is, while others feel reluctant to accept these services. This is because they’re unaware of how much medical and emotional support a hospice can provide a terminally ill patient and their entire family. By learning about the benefits of hospice services, it can be easier to contact a care team.
Here are 6 important things you need to know about hospice care that can help you make the best decision:
1. Patients Can Change Their Mind
If your needs change due to signs of improvement or availability of another treatment option, you can always change your mind and leave the program at any time. Regardless of the reason you chose to discontinue the services, you always have the option of being readmitted, as long as you are eligible to receive palliative care. Thus, committing to these services doesn’t mean you can’t ‘revoke your hospice status’.
2. Takes Place at Home
Many people assume that care is provided at inpatient hospice centers. However, the majority of these services are provided at a place where the individual prefers to receive care, whether it is their own home or an assisted living facility. Thus, the goal is to look after the patient where they feel comfortable while being surrounded by their loved ones. For this, a team of healthcare professionals comes to the patient’s preferred place along with the necessary medications, equipment, and supplies.
3. Not Just for Cancer Patients
It’s a common misconception that most hospice patients have cancer, which makes people unsure if they qualify for receiving palliative care or not. However, any terminally ill individual who has decided to end curative treatment can seek comfort through these services. To determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria, you can visit website pages containing guidelines that act as a convenient tool for identifying hospice-eligible patients. If you’re struggling with a life-limiting illness like dementia, Alzheimer’s, lung, renal, or heart disease, or any neurological disorder, hospice care can help in managing the pain and symptoms and provide an improved quality of life.
4. Not Just for Your Last Days
It’s crucial for a patient to begin palliative care as soon as he is diagnosed with a terminal illness. This is because patients can benefit the most by getting a team of nurses and hospice aids early on since they can significantly lighten the burden by providing improved quality of life as the illness progresses.
5. Supports Family
Hospice helps to lessen the stressfulness of death for the entire family and continues to provide grief care to family members after their loved one has passed away. Most grief centers try to address the emotional pain the family is experiencing through counseling which can help them heal from the loss.
6. Not Expensive
The quality of palliative services and benefits of equipment and medication might make hospice seem unaffordable or expensive. However, most health insurance companies cover the cost of palliative care for patients that have 6 months or less left to live. Thus, allowing patients to focus on other important things rather than the cost of hospice care.
Since patients with serious illnesses are often near the end of their life, it can be normal to feel like they’re giving up by contacting a hospice. However, this specialized medical care is for patients suffering from any sort of advanced illness and facing its accompanying symptoms.