he battle with a serious illness is incredibly challenging for everyone involved. A sick loved one has to fight for his or her life, exhausting all treatments and methods current medicine has to offer, often accompanied by damaging side effects and psychological discomfort. They also have to make peace with the changing circumstances, knowing that all the efforts might be going in one direction. The family and caretakers watch their loved one fade away in pain and agony without being able to provide any immediate relief.
When treatments aimed at slowing down the terminal illness or curing it all together no longer seem to work or the sick individual decides to terminate all the attempts in order to enjoy the final moments of life and focus on its quality, hospice care at home may be an option.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice brings about many various connotations, and while the mentality is changing, there is still fear surrounding the term “hospice.” To many, hospice care means the end of everything – the end of fighting for life, the end of medical care, and ultimately the end of life. We would like to think the opposite is true – hospice care is the very beginning of life with a terminal illness in comfort and peace.
Hospice care was created with one thought in mind – to provide comfort for seriously ill patients, so they can focus on their quality of life and be present at the moment. It takes away the pain and the worry from the family and the terminally ill, so they can instead focus on being there for one another and enjoy these moments together.
The hospice includes a care team of specialists involved in providing you or your loved one with comfort, easing the pain associated with illness, and ensuring that your spiritual and psychological goals are met. The team includes medical staff, such as doctors and nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, trained volunteers, and chaplains. This specialized crew is what makes hospice care an exceptional choice, creating space for working through all the various emotions, providing spiritual guidance, and meeting the physical needs necessary for leading a quality life.
When Is The Right Time To Join Hospice Care?
Hospice care becomes available when your doctor or team of doctors certify that you or your loved one has a terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less. While life expectancy has to be established in order to qualify for hospice care, it does not necessarily mean that you will not stay within the program beyond that time. Many patients outlive their initial prognosis, and if the doctors maintain that you or your loved one has a short time to live, you can remain in hospice care.
With that being said, deciding to join a hospice care program is not always a permanent solution. Depending on your diagnosis, you may qualify for hospice at one point in life and then quit for various reasons, such as when choosing curative therapy or when you unexpectedly get better. You always have a choice of returning to hospice care.
Hospice Care At Home – What Is It & Is It The Right Choice For Me?
Hospice care at home is a wonderful option. Generally, there are four levels of hospice care, and at-home hospice program is part of the two initial levels. Research shows that seven out of ten people prefer to die at home, and the number could be much larger now. Hospice is always a choice, and choosing home is part of the care.
Hospice is not a building or a physical establishment, such as nursing homes or in-patient facilities. Hospice care is where you are, whether it’s a nursing home, long-term care facility, hospice center, or the comfort of your own home. Hospice care is a team – a team of experts guiding you and your loved ones through this confusing time.
Before we discuss at-home hospice, let’s take a look at the four levels of hospice care:
- Routine Home Care – the most common level of hospice care where a patient is in a relatively stable condition with well-managed and controlled symptoms, such as ease of pain mitigation or managable nausea and vomiting. Routine Home Care often involves nursing care and home health services.
- Continuous Home Care – crisis-like, “full-time” hospice care provided at home. The continuous nursing care aims to manage out of control pain and other symptoms.
- General Inpatient Care – Hospice care in a time of crisis provided at an inpatient facility to help manage out of control pain and other symptoms.
- Respite Care – a temporary care provided in an inpatient facility, such as a hospice center, nursing home, or a hospital. This option is provided for those patients whose family member or a caregiver needs to take some time off.
Hospice care is accessible wherever you are, and if you or your loved one would prefer the familiarity and comfort of your own home, that is where your hospice care resides as well. If your doctor estimates that you have six months or less to live and your illness takes its normal (expected) course, hospice care at home is available to serve you for the remainder of your life.
Hospice care is never one or the other solution – you may continue at-home hospice care even if your illness requires more intense short-term management at an inpatient facility, such as a hospice center.
There are benefits to remaining at home while receiving hospice care, including:
- Familiar environment – if your home is your comfort zone, it might be easier for you and your family to reach the final destination surrounded by familiar objects and places. You will continue using your own bathroom and sleep in your own bed, which might bring you peace.
- Quality time with your loved ones – you and your family might use this time to spend quality time with one another in an intimate setting. You might bond over art projects together or start a new hobby, which might be easier done under your own roof.
- Expert level of care in your own home – whether you are staying in a hospice facility or in your home, you can count on professional hospice care to fulfill your physical, spiritual, social, and mental needs.
Hospice care at home can provide you with the same level of care you would otherwise receive in an inpatient setting. We are here whenever you are ready to discuss your or your loved one’s hospice care.
Providing Better Care
Reach Out to Comfort and Peace Hospice Today!
Comfort and Peace Hospice provides outstanding hospice care services for patients with life-limiting illnesses. If you require a little extra support for your loved one or yourself, reach out. We promise to provide the highest level of care possible. We work hard to meet the needs of each of our patients.
Comfort and Peace believes in a custom approach to hospice care. We will work with you to find what the right level of care is, and then put together a plan. If you are a primary caregiver and are looking for some time to relax and catch up, let us know! We provide short- and long-term services.
If you are considering hospice care, contact your physician and see if you are a good candidate. Also, speak with your insurance provider about coverage.
If you have any questions about Comfort and Peace or hospice care in general, please reach out. We’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to providing your loved one or you with an outstanding level of care.