The primary purpose of hospice care is to improve the quality of life for those with terminal illnesses and their families. This is achieved by managing physical symptoms, but hospice care is about much more than simply managing physical symptoms. Hospice care also involves helping the patient come to terms with the reality of the situation, improving mental health and helping the patient experience meaningful social interactions, among a range of other possible services.
It is helpful for those who are considering hospice care for themselves or for a loved one to understand the purpose and benefits. The following is a complete overview of how hospice care helps those who are given six months or less to live.
The primary goal of hospice care is to make the patient feel more comfortable and improve their quality of life. In determining the best way to help the patient improve their overall level of comfort, the hospice care team will document all physical symptoms the patient experiences. They then work with other medical professionals involved in the care of the patient to come up with the best strategy for managing their symptoms.
However, improving the comfort of the patient does not only mean dealing with physical symptoms. Hospice care teams also have a team of mental health professionals, chaplains and others to deal with emotional and spiritual concerns. Hospice care also helps the loved ones of the patient get the care they need so they can provide the best possible attention and care to their loved one with a terminal illness also.
How Hospice Care Helps
There are many ways in which a hospice care provider can help patients achieve a better quality of life, including through physical and emotional symptom management. Each treatment plan is unique and based upon the condition, symptoms, needs and preferences of the patient and their family.
Hospice care providers have a large team available to help that includes hospice aides, registered nurses, social workers and chaplains. Each plays a vital role in the treatment process, ensuring the patient and their family get the assistance they need.
Specialized Plan of Care
Hospice care is tailored to the individual in need of care and their family. This means each plan is unique, and the services offered are based on the specific needs and preferences of the patient and their family. Hospice care is able to provide this specialized service as they have a range of healthcare professionals, counselors and therapists available to assist the patient and their family.
The frequency in which the hospice aides, registered nurses and various other professionals involved in the treatment plan visit is tailored specifically for the patient. Together the patient, their family and the hospice team can determine the best plan to provide the patient with the freedom and peace they need while ensuring they get the treatment and attention they require through hospice care.
Another primary purpose of hospice care is to help the patient deal with the pain they may experience regularly. The fact is most terminal illnesses have symptoms that are discomforting. Whether the condition is a form of cancer or another serious terminal illness, hospice care aims to minimize discomfort through pain management.
There are several ways in which a hospice care team may help patients manage their pain. Most notably, they can utilize a custom-tailored medication plan to deal with symptom management. While hospice care does not seek curative medications, it does seek to minimize pain, aches and general discomfort.
Other methods of pain management may include helping the patient remain physically active to prevent stiffness and swelling. Hospice care also offers a range of therapies to deal with physical symptoms.
Emotional & Spiritual Support
As mentioned, hospice care deals with far more than the patient’s physical symptoms. The fact is that receiving a terminal prognosis leads to complex emotions, and many patients begin to experience strong emotions and challenging mental health concerns.
Hospice care helps patients deal with these concerns and come to terms with their situation so that they can enjoy the time they have left with loved ones. Hospice care also has chaplains and other spiritual counselors available to help those who would like spiritual, moral and ethical guidance. Hospice care also seeks to assist the family members who are dealing with emotional and spiritual trouble over the terminal illness of someone they love.
Contact Harbor Light Hospice for Additional Information
Get in touch with our team at Harbor Light Hospice today for more information about the purpose and benefits of hospice care. We are here to provide those in need of hospice care and their families with the assistance they need and desire to help them live a meaningful and fulfilling life with the time that they have left.