From my experience working with patients, it’s not uncommon for some to be a little uncomfortable with turning to in-home hospice care, especially at first. Primarily, what I hear from them is that they don’t like the idea of having a lot of people in their homes. The thought of having medical staff in their house all the time seems intrusive, and that’s certainly understandable.
However, hospice care is never a one-size-fits-all situation. Just as every patient and every family is different, there are many different options available that allow you to customize the care based on the patient’s medical needs, as well as the preferences of the patients and their families.
It’s important to emphasize that the whole point of hospice care is to provide as much comfort as possible to patients and their families. That includes emotional comfort, as well as treating physical pain. An important part of what we do is making sure necessary tasks are completed and helping families organize personal affairs, toward the goal of minimizing stress.
This is why we provide as much or as little care as the patient and family desire. If that means customizing a patient’s care plan so that a nurse aide comes by every day, then we will gladly accommodate that wish. At the same time, if the patient would prefer to have as few aide visits as possible, we can honor those wishes as well and only send someone when it’s medically necessary.
It’s also important to note that we can adjust the care plan as needed. Assessments are done on an ongoing, case-by-case basis. So as new needs arise, which frequently happens, we can increase the number of visits by medical staff. We’re happy to change the care plan and can add services if that’s what the patient wants. Or, maybe they realize they don’t need an aide visit every day, so we can reduce those visits, depending on the circumstances.
We can also customize your hospice care by providing all necessary equipment and medications to make the patient comfortable. For example, if a hospital bed is needed, we can bring that to the patient’s home. Or, for instances where a patient has COPD and needs a special inhaler, we can provide that as well. Finally, our staff is able to administer all the medications necessary to reduce pain and discomfort, so there’s no need for the family to worry about getting prescriptions filled.
When a loved one has a terminal illness, it can be a sad and stressful time for the patient and the family. The purpose of hospice is to remove as much of the pain, discomfort, and stress as possible and focus on quality of life. By providing options that allow for the customization of hospice care, it allows families to be connected to the patient and to each other so they’re better able to give each other the emotional support they need.