When your loved one reaches the last stages of their life, this can be hard on you and your family. Coping with this kind of change can be difficult for your family. But, it can be especially hard for your loved one as they have to come to terms with a terminal illness. Luckily, there are ways to make this process easier for your family and especially for your loved one going through this experience. One such way to help your loved one is by getting them hospice care. You can learn more about this type of care here.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is, at its core, medical care for those who are terminally ill or in the last stages of their lives. However, hospice treats much more than just the body – it also offers spiritual resources and emotional support to provide peace for those who are ill. In addition, it helps family members of the terminally ill come to terms with the situation and handle the emotional challenges that you now face.
Hospice Care Services
Hospice care can be offered in your loved one’s home, at a hospice center, or in certain nursing homes or hospitals. The main goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of your loved one’s life. This does not always mean prolonging your loved one’s life with intensive medical treatment, although hospice care does include medical care. Other services that hospice care provides include:
- Medical equipment and supplies.
- Medical care focused on reducing pain.
- Round-the-clock care.
- Counseling and support for your ill loved one and your family.
- Voluntary support such as meal preparation and help with errands.
- Respite care for you and your family.
- Guidance and help with closure issues.
- Coaching family members on how to care for your loved one.
- Providing spiritual support for your loved one.
- Providing inpatient care if the medical issues become too serious to be handled at home.
Hospice care focuses more on caring for a person in the final stages of their life as opposed to curing a disease. So, hospice care is provided by multiple types of people. Your loved one’s hospice care might consist of assistance from:
- Social workers.
- Physical or occupational therapists.
- Home health aides.
If your loved one has a terminal illness or is reaching the end of their life, hospice care is an option. This type of care will not focus on prolonging your loved one’s life. But, it will focus on making your family and your loved one as comfortable as possible during this transition. You can learn more about care options for your loved one on the other pages of this section.