End of life care is a general or blanket statement for the different types of care that are provided when one is near the end of life. There are differences in the types, but the main one we will be focusing on for this blog post is hospice care. It is important to become informed about these types of care especially when a loved one has been diagnosed with a disease that is considered terminal. It is also important to have these types of conversations before any type of care is needed to reduce stress later on.
Hospice care is for patients who have been diagnosed with an incurable disease. The main point of this type of care is to improve quality of life towards the end; it is focused on caring rather than curing. It is designed to make the patient as comfortable as possible because it is mainly for patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice care aims to help alleviate symptoms but does not cure the disease.
Typically, the patient will be made a care plan and based on that, they receive a hospice team. Their team could include doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, home health aides, and trained volunteers that take care of the patient and at times the family. The team is supposed to provide all aspects of care including physical, emotional, social, and spiritually needs. Hospice care can be given to the patient really anywhere, from the hospital to their home, it can be provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, to those types of care bereavement care can also be provided to the family after the loved one has passed.
A few things to note about hospice care is that it can continue even after the six-month period. Also, a patient can decide to end hospice care whenever they’d like, if health improves or other circumstances arise. According to the American Cancer Society Inc., “Hospice care can be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, in most states, the Department of Veterans Affairs, most private insurance plans, HMOs, and other managed care organizations.” Almost all hospice programs have a financial support staff who can help to find a way to pay for the care needed.
When it comes to end of life care, we want our loved ones to be in the best place they possibly can. Hospice Care could be the right decision for your elderly loved one. If you have a loved one in need of this type of care, do some research and find the right hospice program for you.
“Hospice FAQs.” National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, 23 July 2015, www.nhpco.org/about-hospice-and-palliative-care/hospice-faqs.
“How Hospice Works.” Medicare.gov – the Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare, www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/part-a/how-hospice-works.html.
“What Is Hospice Care?” American Cancer Society, 13 May 2016, www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/choosing-your-treatment-team/hospice-care/what-is-hospice-care.html.