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How to Create a Positive Hospice Environment

a graphic showing that a majority of people say they want to pass at home, but only about 1 in 4 end up doing so

It can be very hard to watch our beloved family members age; it’s even harder to accept that their conditions will worsen. Often, the right course of action seems to be consulting specialist after specialist after specialist, but at a certain point, the wisest choice may be to let your loved ones rest, preferably in the comfort of their own home.

In fact, a majority of people say they want to die at home, but only about 1 in 4 end up doing so. Hospice care can make sure that your loved one’s final moments are as peaceful as possible. To make this a reality, a hospice service will provide pain management and care for not just the patient, but for their family members as well. Under Medicare rules, optional follow-up grief support for a year is included. Across all areas of medicine, in home care is growing in popularity, but this is especially true for end of life care. A full 58.9% of hospice patients received in home care in 2014.

Hospice care provides many comforts for patients by integrating the medical expertise and access that a hospital would with the comfort of a familiar environment. However, there is always more that can be done to make the home a comfortable environment for hospice patients. Take a look at this list of suggestions for doing so:

  • Provide Distractions: This might mean bringing in a beloved pet into the room or a window to nearby outdoor areas (as long as they pose no health risks), putting up artwork, posters, plants, sacred objects, or a television with a DVD player to play all of your loved ones favorites.
  • Make the Space Personal: Sometimes, the only place to set up a hospital bed is a previously public space in the home, like a living room or dining room. Try to make your loved one feel like the space is really theirs, by personalizing it and taking measures to ensure privacy with curtains or room dividers.
  • Maintain a Loving, Positive Presence: Take care of yourself so that you can be a calm presence during these difficult times. Try to be thoughtful and intentional with how you interact with your loved one, their medical care providers, and other family members and friends. Resolve to be optimistic and positive, and if necessary to help your loved one do the same.

If your aging loved one suffers from a type of dementia like Alzheimer’s Disease, then they may need additional support. Senior care management and Alzheimer’s care from Alzheimer’s caregivers is often the best thing you can provide your loved one with. Don’t be afraid to make this time better for them and everyone else involved in the trying weeks to come.

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