How Does Hospice Care Focus on Quality and Comfort of Life?
Caring for ailing dear ones is a difficult and stressful job. It becomes even tougher when the doctors give up and there is little hope? As difficult as ongoing treatment might be, giving up on loved ones is just as challenging. When you have to choose between non-curing fatigue and comfort for your patient, hospice care might be the best solution. You ask yourself then: How does Hospice Care Focus on Quality and Comfort of Life?
This type of comfort care works best for terminally ill patients or when the treatments are no longer effective. Hospice care does not have to be a permanent choice. Rather, it depends on what your doctor thinks is best for you and what you are comfortable with.
Before we go deeper into how hospice care improves quality of life, we will explain what it actually is.
What is hospice care?
In general terms, hospice care is a special kind of comfort care focusing on adding comfort to patients’ life. In the last stages of an illness, the treatments might cause too much pain and have no effect in curing. As a result, recovery becomes impossible for patients and they have very little time to live. This is when hospice care comes in handy.
Hospice care means providing the patients with all the possible comforts of life emotionally, socially, and spiritually. In addition, the patients must give up on treatments and cure as the goal is to alleviate their pain.
Does hospice care mean giving up?
Some people think that hospice care means giving up, and it causes patients to die faster. But this is not the case. Patients receive hospice care when the treatments become too aggressive and bring more pain than cure.
When this happens, the patients or their doctors make the decision to carry out hospice care. This gives the patients maximum comfort of life under quality care in a natural process. These natural processes include emotional and social support for the patient and sometimes for the caregiver as well.
How does hospice care improve quality of life?
As obvious from the previous information, hospice care focuses on improving quality of life when medicines no longer effective. The main purpose of hospice care is to provide maximum comfort under quality care. And there are several ways to achieve this goal as the patients need help and support in many areas.
Here are some common ways that hospice caregivers use to improve the quality of a patient’s life:
Hospice care starts with counseling. When you feel like one of your friends or family members has a terminal illness and ongoing treatments are no longer effective, then doctors will suggest hospice care for the patient.
Even during hospice care, counseling matters a lot. Therefore, expert psychosocial counselors help the patients to seamlessly navigate through their excruciating illness. They also discuss with the patients their emotional and social needs.
Besides, the counseling helps patients to fight the bereavement and grief that comes with their illnesses. During the last stages of life, spiritual needs greatly arouse in most patients. Thus, religious counseling helps a lot too.
For such patients, chaplains or priests provide spiritual guidance to lift their spirits up. Joining support groups that help meditate is also a good way of having quality care.
Due to the fact that hospice care removes physical treatment, the pain and discomforts from medicines, needles, and endless therapies also goes away.
This helps the patients recover from the exhaustion and lethargy. To give them more comfort, caregivers use medications that ease pain alongside relaxing exercises or massages. Sometimes, they may also use aggressive methods such as heavy doses of morphine to improve the condition of patients.
Some patients may also take physical and speech therapies as they increase the quality of care without causing pain.
Hospice programs generally comprise multidisciplinary teams. These teams typically include doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, and counselors. All of these individuals have the training to provide quality care both at inpatient hospice care and at hospitals.
Moreover, these professionals can easily deal with intricate illnesses. They provide maximum quality care while also ensuring that the patients don’t suffer from pain.
Inpatient hospice care
Hospice care doesn’t necessarily have to be at the hospital. In fact, inpatient hospice care that is given at home is more practical.
A survey states that 7 out of 10 patients want to be at their homes in their last days. Inpatient hospice care offers more comforts of life. It makes patients feel more at ease in their personal space with their friends and family.
Sometimes, home health aides provide assistance to the caregiver to make life easy for them. If it doesn’t work, then the doctors may recommend moving your hospice care program to nursing homes or hospitals. This will provide the patient with extra medical care and take pressure off the shoulders of the caregiver.
Team of Caregiver
Another thing to remember is that taking care of patients is an exhausting and stressful job. This is particularly true for inpatient hospice care.
Caregivers, whether they are family members or nurses, must be present alongside the patient nearly all the time. And this can be extremely challenging at times.
To offer relief to the family members and professionals, experts provide caregiver education and counseling. Also, several health aides, caregivers, and nurses take part in hospice care programs to share the workload.
Don’t forget that hospice care is care over cure. The goal is to provide maximum comforts of life along with quality care to terminally ill patients. This ensures that they will pass away in a peaceful manner.
Want to learn more about hospice care? Please feel free to reach out to us at your preferred hour.