What Is Hospice Care?
When a loved one is suffering from a terminal illness, they or their doctors may decide that it’s time to stop treatment, as it may not be working effectively or your loved one may no longer want to endure treatment options any longer. When the decision is made to stop treatment of a terminal illness, this may be a good time to consider hospice care for your loved one.
Hospice care focuses on quality of life for the patient instead of trying to cure the disease. Not only does hospice care help the patient, but it also helps support family members as well. At Solterra Senior Living White Mountains, we provide our residents in need of hospice the care they require to keep them comfortable during their final stages by managing their pain and other symptoms in a familiar setting.
When Should a Patient Start Hospice Care?
Starting hospice care can be a difficult choice for both the patient and their loved ones. Some consider entering hospice care the same as giving up hope on a cure. Doctors, family members, and patients alike may delay discussions of entering hospice care due to this feeling. However, not entering hospice soon enough can delay the patient’s much-needed relief. Also, one can leave hospice to pursue treatment at any time.
Typically, it is a good idea to start the conversation of entering hospice care when a person is expected to live less than six months and their current treatments are no longer working. Once it is decided that hospice care is the right next step, it’s important to start the conversation with family members and your loved one’s medical team to decide together when to start hospice care.
What Are the Benefits of Starting Hospice Care?
Hospice care can start either in the patient’s home, at a hospital, in assisted living, or at a hospice center that is set up specifically for hospice care. At Solterra Senior Living White Mountains, hospice care is offered to help keep residents in need comfortable while in a familiar setting. Once hospice care has started, our team will focus on treating symptoms to keep the patient comfortable rather than curing the disease.
The recipient of the hospice care will have access to someone on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will be checked on regularly throughout the day. The care team will keep in communication with family members, doctors, spiritual advisors, counselors, social workers, and so forth, as needed. Assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, getting dressed, maintenance of your home, food preparation, and eating will be part of the care plan. The patient’s loved ones will also be able to receive counseling as part of the hospice care plan.
What Is the Difference Between Hospice Care and Palliative Care?
Palliative care and hospice care are very similar with one distinct difference. With palliative care, pain and symptoms are managed in a similar way to hospice care, however, treatment for the illness is ongoing with palliative care. In hospice care, treatment for the disease is stopped altogether.
For loved ones who are still seeing improvements from their treatment plan but are suffering from symptoms that are affecting their quality of life, palliative care is a great option, as it treats those symptoms that are limiting their quality of life without stopping the treatment plan to stop the disease.
Hospice care is a great option for those who have determined their treatment as ineffective and so choose to stop treatment and would like to spend their last days being more comfortable.