Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, and hospice care — which typically involves providing both physical and emotional (and even spiritual) support to patients and their families — is often needed to treat such an incident, as this condition can take a toll on the person affected and cause his/her relatives severe distress.
According to a recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, roughly two thirds of patients die in the hospital within a year after a stroke, while only one in ten dies at home. Additionally, just 10-12% of all deaths were discovered to be unexpected.
Determining when hospice care is needed for a stroke patient — if at all — can be difficult, although it usually depends on the severity of the incident’s effects.
The location of the brain affected by the stroke, as well as the severity of damage to surrounding brain tissue, will also typically determine how quickly a stroke victim’s health deteriorates.
Here are some of the benefits of hospice care for stroke victims or other patients receiving end-of-life care for a similar incident.
Assisting With Patients’ Ability to Function
The primary goal of hospice care is to improve patients’ overall quality of life by alleviating suffering. In order to qualify for hospice, a patient typically must have received a diagnosis of six months or less remaining to live. Hospice care can be administered at home or in a specialized treatment facility and can allow trained professionals to help elderly individuals who suffered a stroke perform daily functions that may have become difficult, like breathing, eating, swallowing, walking, talking and using the bathroom.
Stroke victims often endure a significant amount of pain due to the interruption of blood supply to their brains. They can frequently enter a comatose or persistent vegetative state. Thankfully, part of hospice care includes palliative treatment, which is a holistic approach centered on relieving pain and maintaining comfort, all while helping to reduce any anxiety that may arise.
Emotional Support & Guidance
A stroke can often lead not just to physical pain but also psychological imbalances, so it’s key that a patient and his/her family receive thorough, individualized attention from qualified professionals so that they are not constantly suffering. Everyone deserves to have someone to guide them through difficult times.
Coordinated Care Planning
Hospice workers will usually work with everyone to make sure a detailed plan has been established to help a stroke victim receive adequate palliative care. This includes facilitating the transfer of key information between any parties involved and keeping a specific list of all necessary medications and medical supplies, as well as the coordination of their delivery and administration.
Even professional caregivers sometimes have questions or concerns about proper treatment methods. Thankfully, Harbor Light Hospice is here to provide support via phone at any given time. They can even go as far as dispatching a member of their team to assist your loved one in the event of an emergency.
Learn More About Hospice Care For Stroke Patients
Speak to the experienced professionals at Harbor Light Hospice to learn about the benefits of palliative care and whether or not this is the best option for someone you know who has sustained a stroke.
Though headquartered in Winfield, Illinois, Harbor Light Hospice services patients in eight other states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Oregon, Nebraska, Virginia, Ohio and Texas.
Harbor Light Hospice counts a wide variety of specialized medical professionals, including doctors, registered nurses, therapists and chaplains to help care for those with terminal illnesses and conditions like strokes, ALS, cancer, heart disease, dementia, HIV/AIDS, kidney failure and lung disease. Harbor specializes in pain and symptom control and management, which includes treating pain resulting from cramps, immobility and stiffened joints, as well as any anxiety or depression that may arise from a stroke.
Harbor Light Hospice also does not deny care based on inability to pay for services. Thankfully, palliative care is typically covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies. According to the National Hospice And Palliative Care Organization, 48.2% of Medicare beneficiaries who died in 2017 were enrolled in hospice care at the time of their death.
Even in cases where a patient has issued an advance directive for his/her relatives to follow, many important questions remain to be dealt with. For example, is a feeding tube or ventilator necessary?
You’ll hardly find a more compassionate organization for palliative care services than Harbor Light Hospice. Call them today at (630) 682-3871 or contact them online to learn how they can assist you and your loved one.