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Choosing hospice care for a loved one can be an emotional time. You and your family are likely grappling with a terminal diagnosis as you seek out a caregiver who will look after your relative with dignity and compassion.
The right hospice care makes the transition through the end stage of a disease more comfortable and peaceful for your entire family — including your loved one. Before you can select the right care, it’s important to understand that not all hospice care is alike. There are four main types of hospice care, each one offering a unique service and support to you and your loved ones.
Routine Home Care
For some, the ability to stay at home at the end of a disease brings great peace. Routine home hospice care can support patients and their caregivers at home by helping control pain and manage symptoms.
Routine hospice care includes a team of trained professionals — including physicians, registered nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains and trained volunteer aides — to offer guidance and support wherever and however your loved one needs it.
Together, with this team, you’ll create a plan that ensures your family member receives the care and support necessary to feel at peace.
For those unable to stay in-home, routine hospice care is also available in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and inpatient units.
Continuous Hospice Care
If your loved one is struggling to control pain or manage symptoms, continuous hospice care may be the best choice. A trained nurse is available anywhere from eight to 24 hours a day to provide the critical care your family member needs.
A hospice aide is also available to help with daily activities, such as eating, bathing, personal hygiene tasks and monitoring vital signs. They can help relieve the stress of constant caregiving from family members and allow you to focus on supporting your loved one.
Continuous hospice care is available for individuals in-home, in nursing centers or at inpatient units.
General Inpatient Hospice Care
When symptoms can’t be managed alone by a hospice care provider, your loved one may benefit from inpatient hospice care. This care delivers more complex or in-depth medical support and management your loved one needs to welcome peace and spiritual healing on the final steps of their journey.
Inpatient care facilities include hospitals certified by Medicare, inpatient hospice facility or a nursing home, or other nursing facility that provides 24-hour direct patient care.
Constant care of a loved one at the end stages of disease can be very difficult. Respite care is designed to help relieve you, the primary caregiver for your loved one.
The stress of caring for the physical and emotional needs of your loved one while dealing with your own needs and family responsibilities is overwhelming. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Respite care can be provided for up to five consecutive days.
A 24-hour private-duty nurse cares for your loved one to allow you to care for your own physical, mental and spiritual health.
You and Your Loved One Are Not Alone
It’s comforting to know that you and your loved one are not alone on this end-of-life journey. You have support from specially trained professionals to assist you in any way.
Hospice care doctors focus on providing your loved one with symptom and pain relief, as well as addressing physical and mental health concerns. Their goal is to provide as much comfort as possible. Doctors work closely with the nursing staff to deliver the best care possible.
Hospice nurses are health care professionals that have chosen to work with terminally-ill patients to ensure quality of life. They make sure your loved one is comfortable, allowing him or her to live and pass away with dignity. Hospice nurses are also able to support your family members as well, connecting you to helpful resources or the treating physician.
Hospice Health Aides
Hospice health aides fill an important role by providing personal care to your loved one. Your aide may help with bathing, grooming, meals, changing bed sheets and sharing any changes with your hospice team. This allows you to spend more quality time with your loved one and family members, rather than attending to a list of chores and responsibilities.
Spiritual caregivers are available to help your loved one, you and the entire family in times of spiritual stress. They also provide much-needed comfort and reassurance at this critical stage in your loved one’s life.
Focus on the Beauty of the Journey
Losing a loved one to a terminal illness is difficult for everyone involved. Working as a team with hospice can help comfort your family and allow your loved one to have the peace they deserve during their most difficult days. Focus on your loved one and rely on your AdventHealth hospice team to help with the rest.