When people come to an age where they find themselves facing an end-of-life situation, know that they will need more than medications. We’re talking about the support and comfort hospice care facilities can provide to realign their thoughts and discover their true purpose in life

There are many ways hospice care can help people with only months to live. And in this blog, we’ll cover all of them and help you find the support you’ll need when you find yourself in this situation. Let’s get started!

What is Hospice Care? 

Hospice care is a type of health care that focuses on providing comfort and support to people who are nearing the end of life. It begins when a doctor sets the patient’s life expectancy to 6 months or less. And unlike the usual healthcare that provides curative therapies or medical intervention to prolong life, hospice aims to make the most of the time remaining for people with a terminal illness. In other words, its main goal is to provide them with a quality of life in the last phases of their lives. 

Why is it Important? 

It is natural to feel anxious when you find that you’re nearing the end of life. This anxiety can be caused by a fear of the unknown, worry about how your loved ones will cope after you’re gone, or a feeling of regret for things left unfinished in life. Additionally, we may feel overwhelmed by all the medical decisions that need to be made or the uncertainty of what happens after death. 

These things are what hospice care can help you with. It helps you manage the anxiety you and your family may have by giving you the support and comfort you need to make the most of your time and reach acceptance. Hospice care will help you look at things differently—using positive psychology—so you can appreciate life even more. 

Hospice Care Services

Hospice care provides many services to people who need it. Below are a few of them:

Palliative Care 

Palliative care, also known as supportive or comfort care, is a type of medical care that seeks to relieve the symptoms, pain, and stress of a severe illness. It helps manage those areas while providing emotional, spiritual, and social support for the patient and their family. 

In hospice, palliative care looks at how the disease affects the person’s overall well-being. Its main goal is to help patients enjoy the final stage of their lives by making them comfortable. This entails managing discomfort, pain, nausea, and other side effects to ensure you feel as good as possible.

Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy 

While hospice care doesn’t focus on the illness’s cure, they still help the patients with the areas that are affected by the disease, including speech and movements. Hospice care provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy to ensure that patients can really enjoy their final days. 

Physical therapy focuses on enhancing physical abilities, including movement, balance, and coordination. Meanwhile, occupational therapy teaches patients to perform daily activities, such as eating, bathing, and dressing. Finally, speech therapy helps with communication and swallowing difficulties.

Dietary Counseling 

As you know, good nutrition can help us improve our quality of life. Thus, dietary counseling is also part of hospice care. It helps ensure that patients receive adequate nutrition with the food they eat, the vitamins they take, and the exercises they perform. However, of course, while taking their health conditions into consideration.

Home and Inpatient Care 

Hospice care can be offered in two different settings—either at home or in a facility. Home hospice, as it is, provides care to patients at home, including personal care, such as bathing and eating. And this is the most common setting, especially since most patients want to spend their remaining time with their families. 

However, of course, there will be times when the caregiver in the family will need to take a break from the responsibility. That’s when taking patients to the facility comes in. Hospice provides respite care where they allow patients to stay in a facility for a short period of time. And if the patient and family decide to let the patient stay there longer, the home hospice team can help arrange inpatient care. 

Spiritual Care 

People struggling will always need something to hold onto—to get hope from. And that’s what hospice care can also offer to patients and their families—spiritual care. This type of care is vital because it brings peace and comfort to people dealing with terminal illnesses. It allows individuals to explore their values and beliefs and find strength and solace during their journey.

And usually, hospice care providers coordinate with the patient’s spiritual advisor, chaplain, or rabbi for spiritual care. And the support may include prayers, meditations, religious rituals, and other healing activities, anything that promotes comfort and healing.

Social Services 

Hospice care also provides social services that can help patients and their families cope with the situation. It may include counseling, psychosocial support, and other things that can be as simple as saying the right words.

Social workers strive to help individuals living with a terminal illness and their families cope with the diagnosis, plan for end-of-life care, and access appropriate resources. They provide helpful information for the patients and families to make informed decisions about the care services. 

Bereavement Support 

Bereavement support is one of the most crucial parts of hospice care. This is because while losing a loved one is already anticipated, the feeling of grief can still be overwhelming and take a toll on the bereaved family’s mental health. That said, the hospice care team helps them go through the grieving process.

Support may take the form of phone calls, letters, suggestions for support groups, as well as visits from a counselor or trained volunteer. And if necessary, the team will also recommend your loved ones for medical or other expert treatment.

Final Words

Aging is part of human existence that’s still difficult to accept. And many older adults with terminal illnesses may find themselves losing independence and feeling like a burden to their loved ones. But with their remaining time, it’s crucial to help them navigate how they should spend it in the best way possible. And that’s what hospice care is all about. 

Hospice care can help give the comfort and support any hospice elderly patient may need. Hospice care aims to improve their quality of life and reduce their anxiety. We hope this blog helps if you’re hesitant to consider hospice care.