Early Hospice Care Means Less Pain, More Control

Posted on

Oct 27, 2015

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I wish we had found you sooner. Hospice caregivers hear this statement so often from patients and families. Why? Because, under hospice care, patients feel relief from pain and other distressing symptoms. Many feel a sense of normalcy, perhaps for the first time in months, or even years.

Dr. Diane Meir, Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, explains: If a person is in pain, nothing else can really be accomplished. That is, they cant interact effectively with their families. They cant accomplish important goals. Very often, they cant even get out of bed in the morning, because the pain is draining all their strength and energy.?

People often equate hospice with a morphine drip, sedation or even hastening death. The reality couldnt be more different.

The goal of this medical specialty is helping patients feel comfortable and as alert as possible. Instead of living the last months or weeks of life in and out of a hospital, hospice care gives people a chance to stabilize. Instead of invasive medical intervention with no guarantees of prolonged life, hospice physicians and nurses work to get (and keep) symptoms under control so people feel better. Only then can patients focus on family, friends, taking a trip or accomplishing something meaningful.

Patients and family also receive support from experienced social workers and chaplains, who are part of the hospice team. They help with social, emotional, practical and spiritual issues which may surface at this complex time of life.

Hospice is a team of experts expressly dedicated to each patient and family. One Agape Healthcare patient said, The care is such complete care, here at the houseits not an atmosphere of illness. I dont feel like Im dying. Life is going on.

If you or someone you love has an illness that likely wont respond to curative treatment, we encourage you to talk to your doctor, or call and find out more about how hospice can help. Hospice care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Agape Hospice & Palliative Care, a Denver company serving patients wherever they call home. For information, please call 720-482-1988 or by email astanley@agape-healthcare.com

? http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/24/palliative_care_pioneer_dr_diane_meier

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