For most families, it is a heartbreaking experience to watch someone they love face imminent death. There are many misconceptions about what hospice care is about. Here are 5 things you need to know about what hospice care is about.
- Hospice care is not just a brick-and-mortar establishment. Rather, it is the philosophical approach used to handle patients who are terminally ill. The approach focuses on helping patients deal with uncomfortable symptoms stemming from the disease. Instead of curative care, hospice care is about palliative care or pain relief.
- There are hospice care centers in Indiana that are offered in both homes and healthcare settings, which include hospitals and nursing homes. It is up to the patient and his or her family to choose which the better option is.
- There are some signs that show when a terminally ill patient is ready for hospice care. Apart from repeat visits to the emergency departments, patients who suffer from progressive health decline, unrelieved pain, frequent infections, oxygen dependence and disease-related weight loss are common signs.
- A hospice doctor and/or nurse visit the patient at home or at a healthcare facility depending on the schedule planned and approved by the doctors and the family. The patient’s urgent needs usually dictate the frequency of the doctor’s or nurse’s visits. The patient’s primary doctor prior to hospice admittance still play a major role. He or she communicates with the hospice doctors and staff and family to plan the best course of action.
- Apart from helping terminally ill patients to deal with uncomfortable symptoms, the ones who go into hospice care often live longer. Getting into hospice care doesn’t mean patients and families are giving up on the medical care provided outside of a hospice. It just means that there is more focus on palliative care rather than curative care.
Hospice care is not just for the terminally ill patient. Rather, it also provides support for the entire family. Oftentimes, it is hard for families to watch their loved ones suffer. Having a hospice doctor or a nurse to explain to the family what is happening often provides emotional and mental support.