A Neurological disorder is a severe health condition that can take a major toll not just on an elderly person, but on said individual’s entire family who is striving to ensure they receive the best medical care possible.
Even in cases where someone with a neurological disorder has given his/her relatives an advance directive, there are still frequently many important decisions to make regarding the amount and type of support the affected individual should receive. Thankfully, Harbor Light Hospice is here to help.
Supporting a Loved One With a Neurological Disorder
Hospice care is an increasingly used option for elderly people affected with severe neurological disorders or conditions. According to a February 2019 study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 1.4 million patients in hospice care in the United States in 2015. When an elderly loved one has been battling a condition like MS for many years or suddenly begins experiencing an unforeseen loss of quality of life as a result of a coma or stroke, knowing exactly when hospice care is needed can be challenging.
Hospice care is typically recommended as an option to patients once a person is estimated to have six months or less to live and when medical treatments stop being effective. Although only a physician can most accurately provide an estimate of life expectancy, certain symptoms often serve as signs that hospice care is needed.
How Hospice Care Can Help Provide Support
Hospice offers a wide variety of services to the family of elderly individuals afflicted with neurological disorders to help them get through such a difficult time emotionally and financially.
- Education and training: As a person’s condition worsens, symptoms typically increase, effective communication becomes a struggle as cognitive functions suffer and more hands-one care is often needed after a certain point.
- 24/7 support: Harbor Light Hospice is here to provide support by phone at any given moment. They can even go as far as dispatching a member of their team to attend to your loved one’s needs in an emergency situation.
- Emotional and spiritual assistance: Hospice chaplains can help ease the strong feelings that may come up during hospice care. They’re able to show the patient that their lives are still full of love and importance/
- Financial assistance: Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurance companies typically cover hospice care, although families can still struggle to pay bills even with this assistance. Thankfully, Hospice can help families find a social worker to create a financial plan, even after the elderly loved one with a condition dies.
- Respite care: Hospice can grant your loved one up to five days of inpatient care to give the primary caregiver a break.
- Bereavement Assistance: Hospice can also provide support for up to a year after your loved one dies. Check your local HLH to set up a bereavement meeting for your family.
Here are some of the specific types of services Hospice can provide for your loved one:
Pain & Symptom Control
Some common symptoms of a declining quality of life due to a neurological (or neurodegenerative) disease include quickly becoming bed bound, requiring pureed food, struggling with effective communication and completely depending on others for daily activities like walking or using the bathroom.
People who find themselves in the final stages of their neurological disease can also begin experiencing pain from cramps, immobility or stiffened joints. Hospice can thus help your loved one treat or prevent pressure sores. Their professionals can also help your loved one breathe more easily, better handle difficulties with eating, swallowing and drinking and communicate any needs or discomfort.
Delivering & Administering Medical Supplies
Hospice will coordinate with everyone involved, including administrators, to make sure there is a concrete plan for your loved one’s medical, including a detailed list of all medical supplies and medication needed for such care. Harbor Light Hospice also offers in-home care for patients and families who prefer this option. According to a recent study of terminally ill nursing home residents that was published in the American Journal of Medicine, elderly people in hospice care were significantly less likely to be hospitalized in the last 30 days of their lives: 44% of the residents receiving hospice care were not hospitalized during that last month, compared to just 24% among those not in hospice care.
Emotional & Spiritual Assistance
Hospice offers a wide variety of resources to ensure you, the patient and your entire family receives proper emotional and spiritual support during this difficult time.
Individualized, Personal Attention
Not everyone copes with an elderly relative’s death or loss of quality of life in the same way. Fortunately, Harbor Light Hospice is here to offer individualized attention throughout the entire process so that everyone’s overall quality of life is improved.
Speak to Harbor Light Hospice For More Information
Speak to the experienced professionals at Harbor Light Hospice to learn more about how your elderly loved one can receive comprehensive and compassionate care for his/her neurological disorder or other serious condition, whether it be a coma, a stroke, Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis.
Harbor Light Hospice is headquartered in Winfield, Illinois, but serves patients in eight other states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Oregon, Nebraska, Virginia, Ohio and Texas. Reimbursement sources for services include Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance and Private Pay. Harbor Light Hospice also does not deny services to those who are unable to pay for support. Call Harbor Light Hospice today at (630) 682-3871 or contact them online to learn more.