Families will often wait until a person is terminally ill and weeks from dying before they’ll consider the help of a hospice care center. In fact, hospice can provide many benefits for patients when they have a deteriorating illness or disease but are months from the end of their life. Hospice care provides benefits for the patient as well as the entire family.
When the patient has plenty of health care professionals looking out for his or her well-being, there are less likely to be middle-of-the-night rushes to the emergency room. It’s helpful to have a care plan in place for the patient, which reduces the need for dramatic hospitalizations due to complications. This is why most health insurance plans including Medicare will cover hospice care between 50 and 100 days before the end of the patient’s life.
Gives Access to Professionals 24 Hours a Day
One of the more important aspects of the hospice center’s team is providing the patient, the family and the primary care doctor with access to information and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This includes calls and visits in the middle of the night if they’re warranted. Patients and the family can call for concerns at any time and reach a talented and concerned member of the hospice team.
Whether the family is providing care at home or in conjunction with the hospice team, they’ll need emotional support. A social worker is assigned to the patient and his family, and that worker will help make transitions for the family as well as provide companionship for the family. This is normally a sympathetic person who understands the hardship of losing a loved one.
Respite Care for the Family
Many families want to have the patient at home in the last days, weeks or months of their life. It’s the best way to spend the little time that is left together. Hospice can make it easier for the patient’s caretaker to keep the person home while giving them the respite care they need for a few hours to themselves. Every caretaker needs time to recharge and be alone.
Spiritual Help for the Patient
It doesn’t matter what religion the patient and her family might practice. The hospice center will have a variety of spiritual coordinators to help with all the spiritual matters that can plague a family at the end of a person’s life. Even those who do not consider themselves religious in nature might like someone to talk to when it comes to the end of a patient’s life and the spiritual nature of their passing.
A hospice team includes doctors and nurses as well as social workers, spiritual advisers, aides and volunteers who will work together to provide the solace the dying person and his or her family needs at the end of their days. It’s important for the family to spend as much time as possible with a loved one who doesn’t have long to live, but many families don’t understand that they can get care for their loved one earlier than they might have believed with hospice care.