Issues on Hospice Care

hospice careHospices are medical facilities designed to treat patients who have terminal illnesses. This is where immediate relatives lodge their ailing love ones for further medical attention. A hospice care has a special role in the lives of its patients. Its main goal is to improve the quality of their lives before succumbing to such illnesses. It is a special type of medical care in that a 24/7 monitoring is administered by a nurse or a medical specialist to ensure proper handling of patients. Hospices are like Assisted Living Centers but with minor differences. But hospices do have some issues too, regardless of its use. And there are at least three of them.

Finding the Right Answer
The question whether hospices have the right answers and responses to every patient in need of help is still up for grabs.  This is a relative question, so normally it also has a relative answer. A hospice care, more or less, does not concern itself with finding the right answer. They are instituted to give extra medical help to such patients, and subsequently not to engage in a discussion or debate.

What about Depression?
There are others who choose to receive medical help inside a hospice care than anywhere else, including their homes. Most hospice care patients say that they get depressed while dealing with their illnesses away from any companion. Depression is already prevalent in the US. And those who suffer from it get to have the option of dealing with it with hospice care.

What about Anguish?
Patients are also anguished especially when they are alone and left without any interaction from other people. These patients are in the last stages of their existence, so being anguished comes with the territory. But that is one concern that hospice care is trying to alleviate.

Hospices Cares

Hospice CareYou could say that a hospice is a special place for the sick. This is the place where they receive proper medical attention. They get their much-needed emotional and spiritual care while they are in a hospice.

A hospice care aims to take care of the ill at the twilight of their lives. It is a place where old patients receive a more humane treatment of their illnesses.  Sick people who are under hospice care are either in a nursing home or in a sanatorium.

Hospices started their roots in Europe and since then, it has evolved into a distinct shelter for the sick. The concept of providing hospices somehow developed into a kind of institution. Other patients prefer hospices than hospitals. They choose to spend the rest of their lives inside a nursing home.

Most patients inside a hospice have less than six months to live. They go to hospices so they could somehow extend their time in there. Old patients suffering from cancer, tuberculosis, and other debilitating diseases are its regular inhabitants. There they receive constant care, rest, recreation and even free time to do things at their own pace. Hospice care enables sick patients to maximize their remaining days before they die.

It focuses on caring any more than it aims to cure other diseases. It has its attention of giving these patients something worthwhile while they are recuperating.  Hospices make their lives even better during their last days. These places treat patients regardless of race, religion or even diseases. Hospices are under Medicare, Medicaid, and has its own private insurance plans from other medical organizations.

They also have a variety of staffers under their care. Physicians, nurses, social workers, volunteers and even clergymen work for a certain nursing home. They take extra care on their patients, assisting them of their needs.  They provide food, medicine, and even a coach on how to take care of the sick.

Differences between Palliative and Hospice Care  

DLSHospice care and Palliative have similarities: both provide care for patients with fatal illnesses. As a supplement to some of the more traditional care options, both palliative and hospice care protocols call for patients to receive a combined approach where medications, day-to-day care, equipment, bereavement counseling, and symptoms treatment are administered through a single program. The differences between the two programs lay in the location, timing, and treatment.

The location where palliative care is delivered is most common in an institution such as a hospital, extended care facility, or nursing home that is associated with a palliative care team. This is because a team of doctors, nurses, and other professional medical caregivers will administer or oversee most of the ongoing comfort-care patients receive. But, palliative care can also be delivered at home.

Meanwhile, hospice care is administered in the home by a team of hospice professionals. Hospice often relies upon the family caregiver, as well as a visiting hospice nurse.

Palliative care can be received by patients any time, at any stage of illness whether it be terminal or not. There are no time restrictions. However, hospice care requires that a physician certify that a patient’s condition is terminal. The patient’s expectancy should be six months or less.

Treatments are not limited with palliative care and there is no expectation that life-prolonging therapies will be avoided. Palliative care treatment can range from conservative to aggressive/curative. While this is the case for palliative care, hospice care treatments, on the other hand, concentrate on comfort. The goal is no longer cure, but to provide comfort to the patient for the remaining days of their lives.

There are differences between palliative care and hospice care. And yet, there is a relationship between the two at the same time. They are very similar when it comes to the most important issue for dying people: care.

Hospice Care and How It Can Help

DLS1We need all the comfort and support we can get if we are going through a life-limiting illness or if a loved one is in the last stages of a serious illness. Everyone deserves the right to die pain-free and with dignity, to live each day as fully as possible. And the family also deserves the necessary support when a member is terminally ill.

In this stage of a person’s life, a specialized care designed to provide support by a team of healthcare professionals who maximize comfort by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs is on option. This specialized care is called hospice care which focuses on caring and not curing.

In a hospice care, the interdisciplinary team provides the following services: manages the patient’s pain and symptoms, assists the patient with the emotional and psychosocial and spiritual aspects of dying, provides needed drugs, medical supplies, and equipment, coaches the family on how to care for the patient, delivers special services like speech and physical therapy when needed, makes short-term care available when pain or symptoms become too difficult to manage at home, or the caregiver needs respite time, and provides bereavement care and counseling to surviving families and friends.

Most hospice care is provided at home. Typically, a family member serves as the primary caregiver and, when appropriate, helps make decisions for the person who is terminally ill. Aside from the primary caregiver, the hospice care team is composed of the patient’s personal physician, hospice physician, nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy or other counselors, trained volunteers, and speech, physical, and occupational therapist if needed.

Dying does not need to be painful and emotionally hurtful. The goal of hospice care is to support the highest quality of life possible for whatever time remains. It affirms life and views death as a natural process.

Hospice Care and Palliative Care

hospice carePalliative Care concentrates on alleviating signs and symptoms that are associated with serious diseases, like cardiac disease, cancer, kidney failure, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s along with other dementia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), AIDS along with other neurological conditions.

Palliative Care can be utilized at any kind of stage of illness – not only the sophisticated stages.

Hospice Care is actually palliative in general. The sickness, nevertheless, has advanced to some extent exactly where preventive treatment will no longer be preferred or advantageous. Hospice Care aids the affected individual and their household while keeping focus on relieving signs and symptoms and providing comfort and ease from pain, difficulty breathing, fatigue, queasiness, anxiety, sleep problems, bowel problems, etc.

Remedies are not restricted with Palliative Care and may vary from conventional to aggressive/curative.

Hospice Care remedies are restricted and concentrate on palliation of signs and symptoms. The aim is no longer about cure, but to enhance ease and comfort. Palliative Care can be viewed as anytime during the duration of a long-term ailment.

Using Hospice Care, Medicare insurance necessitates that a doctor approve or certify that a patient’s situation is fatal. The doctor must prove that a patient’s life span is 6 months or fewer. Each Palliative and also Hospice Care might be provided at any location.

Variations in Forms of Services:

Palliative Care services are usually supplied through frequent physician and also nursing visits.

Hospice Care companies tend to be more inclusive than Palliative Care services. Hospice Care consists of doctor services, medical services, social worker, religious care, bereavement care and also volunteers. In some instances, physical, speech, occupational, as well as dietary therapy expert services, and guidance services are considered essential during the Hospice Holistic Care Plan to handle terminal signs and symptoms and supply assistance for the individual and their family.

Hospice Care: A Satisfying Career

Regarding hospice care, people ask a certain question: How satisfying is this career personally and professionally? Only few research has been made to quantify stress amounting to hospice care. But according to a survey report from the AAHPM of 2010, 96% of respondents said they prefer hospice care than any other health care profession. Comments from these participants highlight the personal and professional rewards associated with working with patients during their life-ending journey.

Another admirable benefit of working as a hospice care provider is the creation of partnerships. When care providers are fulfilled, they motivate the patients to thrive. And when patients thrive, it furthers the care provider’s sense of satisfaction. Success is contagious and breeds more success. This creates a spiral of positivity.

hospice careMoreover, this field is still young and attracting more people to join in the course. This is because of the extraordinary personal and professional rewards brought to existing providers. Hospice care practitioners know the healing benefits a treatment can bring to patients who suffer from painful illnesses, prolong stress, or even nearing death.

Hospice care patients, come in all ages and different walks of life, come into the program are usually only have 6 months to live. So, providing love, concern, and support to patients and their families in this vulnerable time can bring much satisfaction. Although it is emotionally challenging, it can be very fulfilling.

Caring for dying patients have had negative implications due to limited research. However, many practitioner’ testimonials say that their work is very satisfying. Though they have to deal with the pain of seeing someone die, this experience gave opportunities to do reflection and form meaningful realizations based that had an impact in their life.

Although hospice care has its own challenges, this career brings joy to both patients and the hospice care provider.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HOSPICE CARE

One of the greatest fears widely expressed by the Americans is dying in pain. This is where the importance of hospice care takes into place. Hospices provide care for terminally ill patients until their last breath. They partner with health care professionals to provide the needed care in different places. While there are facilities that concentrate on hospice care, majority of these professionals come to patient’s homes.  Hospice care’s main goal is to provide dignity, respect, and care to alleviate any form of pain felt during the end-of-life journey.

hospice careA lot of people think that hospice centers let patients die alone not being surrounded by loved ones. They feel that death in such facilities is without privacy, self-worth, and that personal, religious, cultural, or spiritual request are neglected. This is the underlying reason what research say that 80% of Americans would not consider this type of care for last minute concerns.

How can the situation be improved? There should be proper awareness of hospice care in the society. By improving people’s understanding of this end of life care option, additional support would be gained. In addition, the public must realize the importance of this care and more training is needed to improve hospice care.

Local hospices could also take action in improving the situation by outreach programs within their local communities, offering free home and day services. Such activity would raise the community’s awareness and take off the misconceptions.

As the elderly population in the U.S. increases rapidly, the more we need hospice care. The decisions about death and dying should not be avoided, it should be faced and planned ahead. By preparing for legal and financial preparations, both patients and their loved ones would be alleviated with the pain associated in this unique life-to-end journey.

Where do Hospice Care Took Place?

Hospice care typically takes place in the patient’s home or wherever possible. This permits the dying to stay in familiar, secure surroundings and close to people they know. As a hospice nurse, you will basically be making house calls to the homes of very sick people to provide physical, psychological, and spiritual assistance to both the patients as well as their families. And that means you must be at ease driving around throughout the day and going into people’s homes.

hospice careBut if the patient’s family is struggling to look after the patient, you will find in-patient hospice facilities, usually situated on the top floor of a nursing ward or hospital. An in-patient hospice has beds like a hospital, but that is about where the resemblances end. There aren’t any machines, and there are no prohibitive visiting hours; family and friends are always welcome. The atmosphere is rather quiet and peaceful. Almost all of the rooms are exclusive rooms in contrast to a hospital, and in comparison to a hospital, an in-patient hospice has reasonably few beds.

Hospice care is like a transitional place where the patient and the family are joined together for the remaining days of the patient. Hospice care is almost similar to palliative care. They have the same goals which are to ease symptoms and improve quality of life of the patient as well as to prepare the family members. Hospice care is suitable when there is a life expectancy of less than six months. Whenever a curative treatment is no longer working or effective, or in some cases the patient no longer wants to continue them, hospice becomes the other option.

Choosing a Hospice Provider

hospicecareA hospice care program is offered to someone who is in an advanced or terminal illness. This is a specialized support and care program that aims to lighten the burden being carried by the patient and his family.  There are many institutions that offer this kind of services which should be in line with the guidelines set by the Medicare.  Though they follow guidelines and have good programs, it still matters to choose the best hospice agency. They are not exactly similar; there are minor differences that may mean big. It is advisable to research from the start to find where those differences lie. You could ask some friends who know such agencies. They may give you some helpful advice where to go or what institution to avoid.

Hospice care service must be compassionate and knowledgeable in every step of the patient’s journey. They must be composed of physicians and nurses as well as other professional caregivers that will offer personalized choices. The institution must also be up-to-date with the pain and symptom management, and could offer the patient peace of mind to easily deal with the illness. Usually, hospice care is suitable for those who have a limited diagnosis of 12 months or less. It is indeed hard for the person to live a normal life when he knows he or she has few months to live, but it is more difficult to deal with it alone or with worried and stressed family members.  The service will offer physical comfort and well-being for the patient.

Most institutions require large to minimal amount of payment for their services, but there are few who offer their services for free. They wish to aid the patient and their family spend their extended time together at the comfort of a well equipped facility. In this period of time, you and your family should be able to focus on comfort and quality of life rather than on worries and fear.

Hospice Care Availability

Hospice care is accessible to anyone, regardless of what type of insurance or financial resources the patient is using. Home hospice care is cheaper than care in hospitals or nursing homes. This is because affordable technology is used which can easily be monitored and facilitated even by family and friends. For most occasions, the cost of hospice care is fully paid by the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, the patient will be given a daily allowance and pays all medical services, medical equipment, medications, as well as treatments and supplies.

hospiceThere are other health insurance companies who offer hospice care and services. Medicaid also offers the same services like other private insurance companies. You can check the insurance plan you have regarding the insurance benefits, requirements and deductibles. For those who are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other private insurance companies, they can avail of free hospice services through the donations and contributions from a community or a foundation. There are also programs who only charge a minimum hospice cost if the patient has a low income

Hospice benefits are provided on a per day (per diem) basis to the hospice provider. The hospice benefit is very helpful for those under its care since it covers all services, medications and equipment related to the person’s needs. The patient and his family can save a lot.  Medicare offers hospice consultation for those who want to know about the details of their hospice care, it’s a one-time consultation only. Ask someone who knows about hospice care, specifically those who are connected with health insurance companies. You may even discuss your options with their director for clarifications.