7 Things You May Not Know About The Hospice Concept

Posted on

Oct 27, 2015

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Hospice is a concept of care, not a specific place of care. Hospice emphasizes quality rather than quantity of life. The dying are comforted. Professional medical care is given, and sophisticated symptom relief provided. The patient and family are both included in the care plan and emotional, spiritual and practical support is given based on the patients wishes and familys needs.
Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice provides personalized services and a caring community so that patients and families can attain the necessary preparation for a death that is satisfactory to them.
Those involved in the process of dying have a variety of physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs. The nature of dying is so unique that the goal of the hospice team is to be sensitive and responsive to the special requirements of each individual and family. Hospice is often a misunderstood benefit and, often, what people dont know can stop them from getting the services they need.
Here are 7 things you may not know about hospice:
1. Hospice isnt a place. Hospice is a group of medically based services that helps patients and caregivers focus on comfort and quality of life.
2. Hospice isnt expensive. Hospice is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers.
3. Hospice serves people wherever they call home. Hospice can be provided in private homes, apartments, nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.
4. Hospice services can help to keep people in their homes longer by providing medical care and emotional and spiritual support.
5. Hospice isnt just for the last few weeks of someones life. Hospice services are actually more meaningful to people when they are started as soon as someone is eligible for services.
6. Some people who have hospice services improve and no longer need the care.
7. Hospice patients can receive care for longer than six months if they continue to be appropriate and want the service.
Editors Note: this article was submitted by Caren Ermel, President and CEO Sangre de Cristo Hospice For more information she can be reached at Sangre de Cristo Hospice at (719) 542-0032,www.sangredecristohospice.org

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Understanding the Many Benefits of Hospice Care

When a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it can be a difficult and emotional time for both the patient and their family. Hospice care provides a specialized form of medical care that focuses on the comfort and quality of life for patients who have a limited life expectancy. Hospice care not only benefits the patient, but it also provides support and assistance for their caregivers. In this article, we will explore the benefits of hospice care for both patients and caregivers.For Patients:Pain and Symptom Management: Hospice care specializes in providing comfort care, which means that the medical team focuses on managing pain and symptoms associated with the illness. This can include providing medication and other therapies to alleviate discomfort.Emotional Support: Hospice care teams include trained professionals who offer emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families. These professionals can provide counseling, emotional support, and assistance with coping strategies to help patients and their families manage their emotions during this difficult time.Dignity and Respect: Hospice care is designed to provide compassionate care that is focused on the patients dignity and respect. Patients are treated as individuals with unique needs, preferences, and beliefs. The goal of hospice care is to ensure that patients are comfortable and treated with respect throughout the entire end-of-life process.Personalized Care: Hospice care is tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient. This means that care is provided based on the patients unique medical condition, personal preferences, and goals. The hospice care team works with patients and their families to develop a care plan that is customized to their needs.Support for Family Members: Hospice care offers support for family members who are caring for their loved ones. This can include counseling, respite care, and assistance with end-of-life planning.For Caregivers:Respite Care: Hospice care provides respite care for caregivers, which means that a trained professional takes over caregiving responsibilities for a short period of time so that the caregiver can take a break. This can be particularly helpful for family members who are caring for a loved one 24/7.Emotional Support: Hospice care teams offer emotional support to caregivers as well. Caregivers often experience stress, anxiety, and depression as they care for their loved ones. Hospice care professionals can provide counseling and other resources to help caregivers manage their emotions.Education and Training: Hospice care teams can provide education and training to caregivers so that they are better equipped to care for their loved ones. This can include training on medication management, pain management, and other aspects of end-of-life care.Support for End-of-Life Planning: Hospice care teams can help caregivers with end-of-life planning, which can include assistance with advance directives, funeral planning, and other important decisions that need to be made.Continued Support: Hospice care teams provide continued support to caregivers even after their loved one has passed away. This can include grief counseling and other resources to help caregivers cope with the loss of their loved one.Hospice care provides specialized medical care that focuses on the comfort and quality of life for patients who have a limited life expectancy. Hospice care not only benefits the patient, but it also provides support and assistance for their caregivers. Hospice care offers a range of benefits, including pain and symptom management, emotional support, dignity and respect, personalized care, respite care, education and training, support for end-of-life planning, and continued support for caregivers after their loved one has passed away. If you or a loved one are facing a terminal illness, it is important to consider the benefits of hospice care and to discuss this option with your healthcare provider. For more information about hospice care services please contact our caring team today.

How to Support a Grieving Friend Who Has Lost a Loved One

Unfortunately, its likely to happen to each of us when we least expect it: we hear the news that a friend or family member has lost a loved one through an unexpected or expected death. We may have an immediate feeling of doubt about how we should respond. What do we say? What do we do? What if we say or do the wrong thing?These are important questions because what we say or do can either relieve emotional pain or make it worse.Yet, by understanding a few important things about grieving and mourning we can be confident that we can help and not hurt.Understand the Many Faces of Emotional ShockEven when a death is expectedlike after a long, serious illnessyour friend is probably experiencing a roller coaster of strong emotions. According to the American Cancer Society, the shock of losing a loved one can manifest itself anywhere from disbelief, anger, uncertainty, denial or numbness. In my own experience, Ive seen people whose numbness is misinterpreted as peace or acceptance, leading others to say, Shes so strong or Hes taking this so wellyet when the funeral is over and everyone has gone home, they fall apart.Remember that your friend is likely to feel many emotional ups and downsand a period of strength might be followed by real anguish.Communicate Your Sorrow SimplyIm so sorry for your loss, or I wish I knew what to sayplease know that I care, are simple and comforting ways to let your friend know that you care. When we stray into clichslike Shes in a better place now, or It was his time to go,the person who is grieving may feel wounded because they simply want their loved one at their side. This can be especially true of parents who have lost children.If youre completely unsure of what to say, being nearbyyet silentalso communicates that you care.Show Your Support through ServiceYou can decrease your own feelings of helplessness or powerlessness by serving your grieving friend. However, during the strongest moments of grief your friend may not be able to tell you what he or she needs. If thats the case, you might consider doing anything that may be helpfullike mowing their lawn, doing their dishes, or helping them with the funeral. But remember that your service shouldnt end with the funeral.Thoughtful service will continue to show your concern.Listening May Be the Most Helpful Thing You Can DoYour friend may need to talk often. He or she may have to discuss the details of their loved ones deathand may need to talk about it repeatedly. This can be part of the grieving process and you can help by being a patient, non-judgmental, listening ear.But take your cues from your friend because talking about their loved one might be painful. One friend recently told me, One of the most difficult things for us was when someone wouldcasually [mention our childs name]. To us, mentioning his name was a reverent thing that we didnt do very often except among each other. Even then, we were careful about it. It felt very jarring when others were too casual about it.Dont Rush the Grieving ProcessExperts in the field of emotional health and grieving concur that the processand timeframeof grieving is different for everyone. As a friend, you need to be ready for the long haul. It may literally take years for a grieving person to feel stable with their emotions. Encouraging them to get outside and take part in social activities may be helpful, but shouldnt be forced. Give your friend time to adjust to their feelings and emotions and dont be surprised if their grieving lasts much longer than you expect.Dont be Offended if Your Friend Shows AngerAnger can be a normal emotion during the grieving process. Grief can heighten negative emotions and a normally kind person who is grieving may strike out at others emotionally. Understand that its a product of their grief and dont take it personally. You can support them best by maintaining a level head and forgiving them when theyre not at their best.Grief and Mourning Shouldnt be Interpreted as a Lack of Religious FaithAbout half the people in the world believe in an afterlifeand that belief is typically tied to religious views. While those who are grieving may find comfort in their belief that their loved one lives on in some other realm, that belief may not override the pain of separation. Often, grieving is about being separated from our loved onesregardless of our beliefs.Id love to hear your thoughts on this subject, so please leave a comment in the comments box. I also invite you to subscribe to this blogwhich will cover a variety of healthcare topics.A short post cant cover everything, so if youd like more information on this topic I encourage you to research the Five Stages of Grief by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Also, see the U.S. Governments excellent A LifeCare Guide to Helping Others Cope with Grief. If youre concerned that your friends grief has developed into thoughts of hurting themselves or others, please contact a mental health professional.This post is dedicated to the memory of Bailey Rae Bullock, Matthew Bullock, Dan Bishop, Joe Adams, Michelle Pereira, and the many others who's passing profoundly affected me.

How Hospice Care Supports Patients & Families Alike

Hospice is a specialized form of medical care that focuses on providing comfort and support to individuals facing life-limiting illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, or lung disease, among others. It aims to help patients and their families be more comfortable and confident while providing the best medical attention possible.Hospice care provides a holistic approach to care, addressing not only the physical needs of the patient but also the emotional, spiritual, and social needs of both the patient and their family. This approach helps patients to be as comfortable as possible, by reducing pain and other symptoms, and allowing them to focus on their well-being and quality of life. Hospice care can also provide relief to family members who are struggling to cope with the physical and emotional demands of caring for a loved one.One of the key benefits of hospice care is the team of healthcare professionals, called the interdisciplinary team, that work together to provide comprehensive care. This team may include a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, and a volunteer, all working together to ensure that the patients needs are met. Hospice care also provides access to a variety of services and resources, such as counseling, support groups, and home health aides, all designed to help patients and families be as comfortable and confident as possible.Hospice care is typically provided in the patients home, although some hospice programs may offer inpatient services, such as a hospice center or hospital, for patients who require more intensive care. This allows patients to receive the medical attention they need while remaining in a familiar and comfortable environment.Another important aspect of hospice care is the focus on end-of-life care and decision-making. Hospice care providers work with patients and families to help them understand what to expect as the patients illness progresses and to help them make informed decisions about end-of-life care. This may include decisions about treatment options, symptom management, and advance care planning.In conclusion, hospice care provides a unique approach to medical care, focusing on providing comfort and support to patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses. The holistic approach of hospice care, the team of healthcare professionals, and the focus on end-of-life care, all help to make patients and families more comfortable and confident while receiving the best medical attention possible.