The decision to send your senior loved ones to hospice care is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. During the sunset years of their lives, you need to give your senior loved ones the best care and love they can have for all their needs. While you might think you’re giving up hope when you send your loved ones to hospice, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, it means you want to give your senior loved ones the best palliative care, which they can only get from a quality hospice.
A good hospice has a quality team, which can provide the top end-of-life care, anywhere the patient and their family calls for one—whether in the hospital, in their own home, or in an assisted living facility. Your senior loved one is guaranteed emotional and mental support, on top of their medical, physical, and day-to-day needs that you may not be able to give all by yourself.
With that in mind, this article gives you everything you need to know about hospice care for senior loved ones and the reasons why you should consider this option.
A Brief Background On Hospice Care
Typically, a family decides to provide hospice care for their senior loved ones when the patient’s doctor decided that they’ve reached the terminal stage now and only palliative care can be given during this end-of-life stage. This is a type of care service centered on comfort to improve the patient’s quality of life, especially once they’ve ended curative treatment or that the doctor simply doesn’t recommend such anymore.
Generally, the outlook for hospice care is at around an average of six months maximum. But when the hospice is able to provide firs-class care, emotional love, and psychological comfort to their patients, some even make it beyond that period. Overall, their quality of life improves greatly when they’re not simply strapped to a hospital bed, doing nothing else but receiving medical care.
With hospice care, your senior loved one may still be able to do some of their hobbies and day-to-day activities with the caregiver with them, for as long as their body is also strong enough for it. You can learn more about what hospice care can do by visiting providers’ websites, such as https://www.onesourcehh.com/hospice-care.
The Benefits Of Hospice Care
There are many reasons why you should take your loved one to hospice care. While your first priority is to be able to provide care to your loved ones that you may be unable to do, here are other ways hospice could help them:
1. Pain And Symptom Management
Once you’re told your loved one is already suffering from a terminal illness, the best you can really do at that point is to help them with their pain. The team at the hospice can create the best treatment plan geared toward achieving that purpose. That way, during the last few months of your senior loved one’s life, they aren’t just suffering from their illness.
2. A Place Of Hope
Hospice care isn’t a dark, hopeless place. In fact, when you consider hospice care for your senior loved ones, you’re giving them hope. Even when their disease continues to take a toll on their body, your senior loved ones may not feel the discomfort as much, simply because they have round-the-clock provision and support for all their needs from the hospice team.
Considering hospice for your loved ones isn’t a two-way relationship between your senior loved ones and the hospice team. Rather, it’s a connected relationship with your loved ones, the hospice team, and yourself as the family support system.
With this, your senior loved ones feel the difference when they finally have so much control over their life again. For many others, it’s a more dignified way to die, when during their last years—rather than lie alone in bed, hoping to extend their lives—they can still enjoy and do as they please. Mentally, your senior loved ones won’t feel as if they’ve totally lost a sense of purpose in their lives.
3. Specialized Therapy Sessions
Hospice care offers a more personalize care to your senior loved ones. These don’t just include basic healthcare but even other aspects of their lives like hobbies and socials.
Many hospice care facilities offer services like pet therapy, knitting, and art so they have an avenue to continue doing what they love to do the most. These activities can maximize the spiritual, physical, and emotional support your senior loved ones are going to need in this season of their lives.
4. A Comfortable Environment
Truth be told, many senior individuals would rather prefer to spend their last few months of their lives at home than in the hospital. A good route you can take instead is to keep your senior loved ones at home and have in-home hospice care for them. When your loved ones are in that familiar environment, they may tend to be happier and more comfortable.
5. Opportunities For Psychosocial Counselling
Another common misconception with hospice care is that it focuses only on the medical needs of your senior loved one. Depending on what you signed up for and discussed with your loved one’s hospice team, there are also opportunities for counseling sessions, which can be beneficial for their overall well-being.
Remember that when your loved ones are sick and dying, it’s not just their health that deteriorates. Their psychological well-being may also give in from anxiety and depression. This is most often the case if your loved ones are left alone in the hospital where there isn’t one-on-one care, as the nurses have to attend to other patients as well.
With hospice care, your senior loved ones can have counseling sessions, if needed. Their mental health can improve when they feel they have someone they can talk to openly about what they’re feeling. As members of the immediate family, you’ll be kept in the loop, so you can join along and help in assuring your loved one receives all the love, care, and attention they may have thought they already lost.
6. A Personalized Care Plan
On one of the first few meetings you’re going to have with the hospice team, you’ll go through a series of sessions where you’ll also be informed of the team’s chosen care plan for your senior loved ones. Among others, this care plan includes the medical needs based on the disease and physical condition of your loved one.
The main goal of the comprehensive care plan is providing the most valuable experience to your patient, to alleviate all discomfort and pain they’ll potentially go through during your loved one’s final few months. This care plan will involve a network of doctors, nurses, caregivers, therapists, and other healthcare workers working 24/7 to provide the best care for your loved one.
7. Assistance With Daily Living
Especially if your family members are too sick to do day-to-day activities by themselves, they can be frustrated when they’re unable to do things that were once normal to them. They may feel especially sensitive when they’re struggling to eat because there’s no one to help them eat or having a hard time dressing up in their Sunday best because they have to wear a hospital gown.
With hospice care, assistance with daily living is also possible, improving your senior loved one’s quality of life. They can eat, use the bathroom, and bathe with ease whenever they want to, now that they have the assistance they need. If they want to walk around the block to appreciate the neighborhood they’ve lived in for so long, they can do so with the help the hospice can give, rather than simply being kept in a hospital room.
8. Counseling And Guidance To Your Whole Family
Hospice care isn’t just for the patient per se, but it’s also to give counseling and guidance to your whole family as well. Without a doubt, these are challenging times for the whole family. Imagine being told that your loved one has only six months to live. That’s very hard to process. And as much as you may want to be there 24/7 during those last six months, this may not always be possible. You have a job to attend to, perhaps even family of your own.
This is where the benefits of hospice care come in. As they care for your loved one needing palliative care, they care for your entire family too. You can have the emotional guidance and support you need during these dark days. There are social workers and chaplains to hold your hand as you take this walk with your loved one. Should the time come for your sick family member to finally rest, there’s bereavement support for everyone left behind.
Hopefully now your doubts and misconceptions about hospice care are all cleared up. You see, hospice isn’t a place; rather, it’s where focused holistic care is provided, not just for the patient during their last few months or year but also to the family’s transition in this challenging time.
If you’ve long been on the fence about this decision, you should have a better idea now of all the positive reasons for sending your senior, ill, or dying loved one to hospice care. By doing so, you’re able to maximize their quality of life, provide comfort in place of pain, and give them all the love they need as they close their life story.