Having a loved one in hospice care is an emotional experience. At the same time, you’re doing your best to make sure they are getting the best care and comfort possible as you work through your own feelings. We’re here to answer some frequently asked questions about hospice care to lighten the struggles you may be experiencing so that you can help keep your loved one’s days full of love, support, comfort and peace — while also not neglecting your own needs with us by your side every step of the way.
FAQs About Hospice Care
- What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is considered end-of-life care for someone with a life-expectancy of six months or less. A team of health care professionals and volunteers provides it. They give medical, emotional and spiritual support. The goal of the care is to help those at the end of life have peace, comfort and dignity. Support for families is provided as well.
- When Should Hospice Care Begin?
As you start to consider hospice care in the midst of changing realities for your family, hospice care is meant to lift all of you up with deep care and comfort so that you can enjoy your time together to the fullest. Signs it might be time for hospice care include:
- A decline in overall physical/mental status
- A need for help with most daily activities (bathing, dressing, toileting, eating)
- Continuous use of oxygen
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent hospitalizations or emergency-room visits
- Multiple medical problems or diagnoses
- Profound weakness or fatigue
- Recurrent edema/swelling
- Repeat infections (pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract infections)
- Shortness of breath or chest pain at rest
- Significant, unintentional weight loss in the last six months
- Uncontrolled pain or vomiting
- What Hospice Services Are Offered?
Once your loved one enters hospice, your hospice care team at AdventHealth will work with you in providing day-to-day care. Your team will include your loved one's primary physician, a hospice physician, nurse case manager, social worker, volunteer coordinator, chaplain, hospice aide and a bereavement counselor, all of whom stand ready to provide quality-of-life-focused care. The hospice services we provide include:
- 24-hour on-call medical staff and nurse support
- Advanced care planning
- Caregiver support
- Care levels
- Grief support
- Hospice care services
- Hospice care team
- Inpatient unit
- Medication, supplies and medical equipment
- Where Does Hospice Care Take Place?
Hospice care can be provided at home, in a nursing home, an assisted-living facility or an in-patient unit at one of our hospitals. Choosing where to receive hospice care is a deeply personal decision, but make sure to talk your options through with your care team and other family members.
- How Will Our Family Be Supported by Hospice Care?
You love them so deeply and think fondly of your many cherished memories together. Your loved one is still the same person they’ve always been. We want to help you make these moments count.
Our hospice nurses combine tireless compassion with spiritual guidance to support, instruct, and care for you, your loved one and your family throughout this tender time. We’ll do everything we can to make your loved one more comfortable, whether they’re spending this time at home, at our inpatient unit or in a nursing home. We’ll help you find the beauty and blessings in each day.
When the Time Comes
When the time comes for you to engage hospice care for your loved one, you will not be alone. We’ll be with you, doing all we can to make sure that you have the emotional support you need, too. For more information on the support we can provide you and your family, visit us here.