What Are Hospice Care And Palliative Care?
Hospice and Palliative Care both offer compassionate care to patients with life limiting illnesses. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness. Hospice care is most often offered only when the person is expected to live 6 months or less.
At the end of their lives, many Americans receive care that is inconsistent with their wishes at facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals. To ensure this does not happen, elderly individuals need to be aware of what end-of-life care options are available to them and to state their preferences ahead of time to their caregivers. Along with more information for what are Hospice Care and palliative Care? For example, if an elderly individual wants to receive end-of-life care for symptoms such as pain and die at home, and makes this known to family and healthcare providers, then there is a lesser chance that she or he will receive unwanted treatments and die in a hospital.
There are several factors that caregivers need to consider when selecting end-of-life care, which includes the elderly individual’s desire to pursue curative or life-extending treatments, the preferred setting for receiving care, and how long the person has left to live.
Understanding Houston Palliative Care
Physicians can provide treatment to patients who are seriously ill for as long as possible in hopes of a cure. The patient might receive medical care as well for their symptoms, or curative treatment along with palliative care.
A multidisciplinary team of palliative care specialists will work with the patient, their family and other doctors of the patient to provide medical, practical, emotional, and social support. The team is comprised of palliative care specialists nurses and doctors, and also includes other professionals such as chaplains, nutritionists, and social workers.
Palliative care may be provided in at home, nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient palliative care clinics, or other types of specialized clinics. Palliative care may be covered by insurance policies, Medicaid, and Medicare. Veterans might be eligible through the Department of Veteran Affairs to receive palliative care. Some services might be paid for by private health insurance. Health insurance providers should be consulted to see what is covered for your specific situation and to get your questions answered.
With palliative care, it is not necessary to stop treatment that may cure a serious illness. Curative treatment and palliative care may be provided at the same time and can start at the time of the patient’s diagnosis. If the palliative care team or doctor, over time, believes that treatment is not helping any longer, there are two possible options. If the physician believes that it is likely that the individual will die within 6 months, then palliative care could be transitioned into hospice care. The other possibility is that the palliative care team may continue to assist with comfort care increasingly becoming the focus.
Understanding Houston Hospice Care
At the end of their lives, people are increasingly choosing hospice care. Hospice may be provided in any type of setting – an inpatient hospital, assisted living facility, nursing home, or at the patient’s home.
Curing a serious illness might not be possible at some point, or a patient might make the decision to not undergo specific treatments. Hospice has been designed for these circumstances. The patient who enters hospice care understands that her or his illness is not responding to the medical attempts that have been made to slow or cure the progress of their disease.
Hospice, like palliative care, offers comprehensive comfort care and support for family members as well. However, in hospice, there are no attempts made to cure the patient’s illness. Hospice is provided to an individual who has a terminal illness whose physician believes she or he has 6 months to live or less if the illness continues to naturally run its course.
Hospice is not tied to any specific place. Instead, it is an approach to care. It may be offered in two different types of settings – in a facility such as a separate hospice center, hospital, or nursing home, or in the patient’s home.
Hospice care brings a team of individuals together with special skills – including doctors, nurses, social workers, trained volunteers, and spiritual advisers. Everyone works together with the individual who is dying, the family, and/or the caregiver to provide the spiritual, emotional, and medical support that is needed.
A hospice team member visits on a regular basis and there is someone available by phone at all times – 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Insurance companies and Medicare may cover hospice; check to see if your specific situation will be covered by insurance.
It is very important to keep in mind that stopping treatment whose aim is to cure an illness doe not mean that all treatment is discontinued. A good example of this is an elderly individual with cancer. If it is determined by the doctor that the person’s cancer is not responding to chemotherapy treatments, and the patient decides to enter into hospice care, chemotherapy is stopped. However, other medical care might continue if it is still helpful. Or an individual with high blood pressure might still take medicine for it.
Although a great deal of support is provided by hospice, the daily care of an individual who is dying at home is provided by friends and family. The hospice team teaches family members how to properly care for the dying individual and may provide respite care at times when caregivers need to have a break from their responsibilities. Respite care might be for up to several weeks or as brief as only a few hours.
Families of individuals who received their care through a hospital program report being more satisfied with the end-of-life care that was received by their loved one than those patients who did not receive hospice services. Hospice recipients are also less likely to be given medicines or undergo tests they don’t need and have their pain controlled, compared with individuals who do not receive hospice care.
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