Hospice Care Evolution

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to draw and raise attention of this special kind of care. Hospice care is a viewpoint of end-of-life care that concentrates on the comforting and care of a critically ill patient’s symptoms. These symptoms can be actual, psychological, spiritual or social in nature.  The idea of hospice as a place to cure the incurably ill has been changing since the 1200’s and first came into the United States in the nineteen seventies in reaction to the work of Cicely Saunders in the United Kingdom. Since its appearance, hospice care has evolved rapidly.

hospice_careHospice care is available to sufferers of any age with any terminal diagnosis. Although most hospice sufferers are in treatment for less than 30 days, care may increase beyond six months if an individual’s condition is constantly on the merit for such healthcare. Medical and social services are provided to sufferers and their loved ones by an interdisciplinary group of professional suppliers and volunteers who take a patient-directed strategy to handling sickness. Generally, therapy is not analytic or healing, but is based on what the individual and family members’ goals are. In many situations, hospice services are covered by medical health insurance and other suppliers.

Care may be provided in an individual’s home, experienced nursing service, or assisted living service. The objective of hospice care is to offer comfort to the individual and family members. This can mean independence from actual, psychological, spiritual and/or social pain. Hospices do not seek to speed up loss of life, or extend life. Hospices offer care with an interdisciplinary group. This interdisciplinary group strategy includes all members of the medical care group working together towards the same objective, which in this case is identified by discussions with the individual and family members. Members include the hospice medical director, doctors, pharmacy technician, RNs, certified nurse’s aide, social workers, spiritual consultants and volunteers. The hospice health director is a physician who provides support and guidance to the clinical staff providing care to the patient and family.

Neglect in Nursing Homes

Many of today’s nursing homes are managed by thoughtless and selfish business people whose main objective is pleasing their investors. They are compensated with nice incomes and rewards for team cutting and other cost-cutting methods. Profits are spent in powerful lobbying groups that enjoy effective influence over law makers and authorities. These organizations respond to medical negligence legal cases, not with training learned and corporate mandate to improve care, but with tort change, introduced and passed into law by greedy and recompensed congress. Eighty percent of the sector’s payments come from community funds, Medical health insurance and State health programs and we are not getting our entire worth.

nursing_homesHealth and Human Services revealed that medical health insurance paid $5.1 billion dollars for poor elderly care facility care in 2009. Harmless repercussions of poor care have taught this market that it’s more profitable to offer poor care and pay an occasional fine than it is to hire and train staff to offer proper care. Sequestration cuts are further weakening the bite of regulating agencies that view themselves as in “partnership” with the very market they’re charged with watching. Charges are meager, inconsistently gathered and do not act as preventives.

Silence and inaction are daily pointers that our community doesn’t want to think about old individuals suffering neglect and abuse in nursing. Even organizations with “aging” and “health care” in their titles don’t want to cross the nursing-home limit. The realities of life and death in nursing homes are too dark and our man’s instinct surrenders to more enjoyable matters. Accounts of abuse are as ignored as the sufferers themselves and reform supporters are continuously advised they can’t force individuals to good care. There are no children or pet dogs or cats to save in these experiences. They are old individuals who can no longer protect and defend themselves. Unfortunately, the number of individuals willing to rebel against this highly effective profit-motivated industry continues to be low. This is why true change and proper care remain out of our reach. We simply need more individuals to care and to be counted.