Hospice is specialized care and medical support for those who are nearing the end of life. Patients whose life expectancy is 6 months or less can use hospice services. Care provided is focused on comfort and symptom management rather than curative treatments. The goal is quality over quantity.
Hospice care can include a wide range of supports. Here are some of the most common services you can expect.
Access To Medical Supplies and Equipment
Whether a person is receiving in-home care or inpatient hospice care, medical supplies and equipment are available. Supplies like bandages, catheters, and bedpans can be provided at no cost. Additionally, equipment like wheelchairs or even walkers may also be provided. Anything that a care team deems necessary for comfort may be included.
A person who is nearing the end of life may experience symptoms such as pain, anxiety, shortness of breath, and more. A care team will provide medication that can help alleviate (but not cure) these symptoms. Common drugs prescribed for comfort are:
- And more.
Related: Does Medicare Pay For Hospice?
It’s important to remember that hospice addresses all of a patient’s needs—not just the physical ones. In other words, emotional and spiritual needs are looked after, too! If a patient who is near the end of life wishes, hospice will provide spiritual counseling. This can include a chaplain or any other religious or spiritual leader from any faith. Spiritual counseling can help a patient and their family understand and accept their circumstances, as well as provide comfort.
Hospice can provide skilled nursing at home or in a facility. Nurses provide direct care for patients including medication administration, checking vital signs, and wound care.
Hospice Respite Care
Respite care is a service that provides short-term relief to caregivers. When someone in hospice receives most of their care at home, that person may stay at a hospital or other facility to give their primary caregiver a break. The duration of the stay can range from a few days to weeks. In some cases, it may only be for a day!
When It’s Time For Hospice
A loved one nearing the end of life deserves the best care possible. If you’re ready to learn more about hospice, then visit the Senior Resource Hospice Care Directory.
For more help and info, check out these great resources:
World Health Organization – Palliative Care