For many people, hospice is a very frightening word because it is associated with the end of a life. One of the biggest myths surrounding hospice care is that it means that a family has given up and submitted their loved one to a lack of care — but this is a misconception caused by a misunderstanding of what hospice care really is.
Instead of a last resort and surrender, hospice care is a way for patients and their families to prioritize their wishes and receive specialized care and support. Indeed, in 2014, an estimated 1.6 to 1.7 million patients received services from hospice. Often, the decision to choose hospice is made to make a relative with Alzheimer’s more comfortable, as Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Take a look at this list of the benefits of choosing hospice care as a way to create an easy and comfortable environment for a patient and their families:
1. Competent Professionals
One of the most important parts of providing comfortable final days is having the help of a specialized team of medical professionals who are familiar with the patients and their condition. Emphasis should be on controlling and reducing pain and discomfort. These workers understand what patients and their families are going through and are there to help in any way needed.
2. Familiar Environment
Hospice can be provided in nursing homes and hospitals, but most often patients choose to spend their final days in their own homes. In 2014, 58.9% of patients received hospice care at home. Therefore, hospice care is a collaborative effort between the patient, family, and medical team.
3. Sense of Dignity
Patients get the chance to pass with dignity — no loud, buzzing machines and no doctors poking and prodding them constantly. Patients also won’t have to undergo invasive procedures and can relax and spend their remaining time with friends and family, when possible.
4. Lessens Financial Burdens
Hospital bills can be very overwhelming, and when in home care is provided, those out-of-pocket costs are significantly reduced. Patients and their families should find out in advance which elements of hospice care their individual insurance provider can cover.
5. Family Counseling
Guidance and support is needed for everyone in the picture — from the patient to their family members. Most hospice care services cover bereavement and grief counseling, as well as help with some of the necessary after-death tasks that need to be completed.
Whether you choose in home care service or a hospice care facility, your loved one will be grateful for the chance to spend their final days in peace.