Monday, June 27, 2022

What does it mean when someone is in hospice care at home?

Hospice care could be an option if you or a loved one have a terminal disease. Learn how hospice care operates and how to choose a program.

If you or a family member have exhausted all other treatment options for a terminal condition, you may want to consider hospice care. Learn how hospice care provides comfort and assistance.

hospice care at home


What are hospice services?

Hospice care is provided to terminally ill patients. The services are offered by a team of health care specialists who reduce pain and meet terminally ill patients' physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs to maximize their comfort. Hospice care also provides counseling, respite care, and family practical support.

The goal of hospice care, unlike regular medical care, is not to cure the underlying condition. The objective is to sustain the maximum quality of life possible for as long as possible.

Who may hospice care benefit?

Hospice care is for terminally sick patients with less than six months estimated to survive. However, hospice care may be offered for as long as the individual's physician and hospice care team certify that their condition is terminal.

Many hospice patients have cancer, while others suffer from cardiovascular illness, dementia, kidney failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Early enrollment in hospice care improves the quality life and length of life. Hospice care lessens the strain on the family, reduces the risk of the family experiencing complicated grief, and prepares family members for losing a loved one. 

Additionally, hospice allows a patient to be cared for at a facility, not because the patient needs it but because the family caregiver wants a break. This is referred to as respite care.

Where are hospice services offered?

Most hospice care is delivered at home, with family members serving as the primary caregivers. However, hospice care is also offered in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and places dedicated exclusively to hospice care.

Regardless of the location of hospice care, hospitalization is occasionally necessary. For instance, if a symptom cannot be treated at home by the hospice care team, hospitalization may be required.

Who participates in hospice care?

If you are not getting hospice care in a dedicated facility, hospice personnel will regularly visit your home or other locations. The hospice staff is available around-the-clock, seven days a week.

Typical hospice care team members include:

     Doctors. A primary care physician and a hospice physician or medical director will administer care. Each patient is permitted to choose a primary physician. This can be your previous physician or a hospice physician.

     Nurses. Nurses will visit your house or the home of a relative to administer care. Additionally, they are accountable for coordinating the hospice care team.

     Home care aides. Home health aides can give additional assistance with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, and eating.

     Spiritual counselors. Chaplains, priests, lay ministers, and other spiritual advisors can give spiritual care and direction to the entire family.

     Social employees Social workers offer counseling and assistance. Additionally, they can make recommendations to other support networks.

     Pharmacists. Pharmacists give medication oversight and recommendations for the most effective symptom relief.

     Volunteers. Volunteers provide a variety of services, including companionship or relief for caregivers, transportation assistance, and assistance with other practical needs.

Other specialists. If necessary, speech, physical, and occupational therapists can provide therapy.

Bereavement counselors. In hospice, trained bereavement counselors provide support and assistance following the death of a loved one.

How are hospice care costs covered?

Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and private insurance often cover hospice care. Even though each hospice program has its payment policy, services are frequently provided regardless of the ability to pay. Inquire about financial possibilities before selecting a hospice program in SAN MATEO.

People are increasingly opting for hospice care at the end of life. Hospice care is centered on the care, comfort, and quality of life of terminally ill patients.

At some point, it may not be possible to cure a serious condition, or a patient may decline certain therapies. Hospice is developed for such circumstances. The patient beginning hospice care is aware that medical attempts to cure or reduce the progression of their sickness have failed.

Hospice, like palliative care, provides extensive comfort care and family support but attempts to cure the patient's condition are discontinued in hospice. According to their doctor, a terminally sick patient with less than six months to live if the illness follows its natural course is administered hospice care.

A patient must discuss hospice care alternatives with their physician. Sometimes, people do not begin hospice care early enough to receive its full benefits. Perhaps the delayed hospice cares until they are too near death to benefit from it. Or, some individuals do not qualify for hospice care in time to reap its full benefits. Beginning hospice care early may provide months of meaningful care and precious time with family. For more information click here.

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