The Benefits of Hospice Care
Making the best - and most - of life
The word “hospice” is often equated with end-of-life medical care. But hospice benefits reach far beyond a patient’s physical condition to cover the spiritual and psychosocial needs of the patient as well as the family.
Hospice’s expertise in palliative, or “comfort” care, assures the patient of state-of-the-art pain control and symptom management.
A hospice nurse is assigned to each patient to take care of their medical needs. This covers a lot of territory, from keeping an eye on a physical condition to arranging for delivery of a wheelchair or hospital bed.
The freedom to choose
One of the great fears of terminally ill patients is losing control over what happens to them. Utilizing a hospice program allows the patient and family members to voice their opinions and become involved in treatment and care options.
- Studies have shown that hospice care can dramatically reduce hospitalizations.
- This is because a well-constructed care plan for the patient, delivered in the stability of the home environment, provides a more controlled and balanced setting for care.
One of the most important things a hospice team does is make sure the patient and primary caregiver have access to professionals 24 hours a day. A nurse is on call 24/7 and a nurse can visit any time day or night.
Reliable information and communication
Much of the anxiety surrounding end of life care comes from not having answers. With Center for Hospice Care, there is always a ready resource with reliable information, guidance, and reassurance for the patient and the family.
- When families are in the turmoil of providing care, planning ahead, and coping with daily challenges, our social workers and counselors provide guidance and support.
- A social worker can also provide assistance with end-of-life planning and with residential transitions if needed.
- Further, Center for Hospice Care volunteers offer a sympathetic ear and companionship to patients and their families.
- Center for Hospice Care home health aides provide services such as bathing and dressing.
- Our volunteers can help with practical errands, such as doing grocery shopping and running errands. They also provide time off for friends and family members who are serving as caregivers.
- Spiritual issues are often front and center for a patient at the end of life.
- Center for Hospice Care spiritual coordinators provide spiritual support to patients and their families – regardless of their religious background. If it’s desired, a chaplain can perform a memorial service as well.
Respite care is for the primary caregiver of a patient. Volunteers are available to provide care in the home to allow the caregivers a break for a few hours. But eventually, caregivers need time away. Depending on your insurance, respite care may be available to help, often for up to five days.
A coordinated interdisciplinary team approach
- A Center for Hospice Care hospice team consists of professionals in multiple specialties.
- The team consists of specialists such as doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice aides, volunteer coordinators, spiritual counselors, pharmacists and bereavement counselors. This interdisciplinary approach is widely considered to be one of the most important benefits of hospice care.