Sadly, many people in hospitals or nursing homes receive care that aligns not with their wishes. Aging adults need to voice their end-of-life requests to their families and caretakers. One of the biggest requests by aging adults is the desire to die at home surrounded by loved ones and not in a hospital room. If they express their wishes, the provider may see if palliative care or hospice care can be brought in for at-home treatment.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care exists for patients living with severe illnesses such as heart failure or cancer. It is usually a step before Hospice care. The palliative care team focuses on treatment to provide the medication needed and maintain maximum comfort for the patient. The goals are to enhance the patient’s life by focusing on their quality of life and help release some pressure from caretakers or family. The organized services supplied by this type of care can be helpful to an aging adult.
A patient can receive palliative care along with curative care and may start at the time of diagnosis. Yet, over time if the doctor or palliative team believes ongoing treatment is no longer helping, they can either continue with comfort care or agree to call in hospice care.
What is Hospice?
The website seniorsafetyadvice.com provides an excellent definition of hospice.
Hospice is a type of health care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient. They manage the pain and symptoms and attend to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering. Hospice care provides an alternative to therapies focused on life-prolonging measures that may be arduous, likely to cause more symptoms, or are not aligned with a person’s goals.
Many people think hospice signals the end, but that is not always the case. Hospice services exist to help within the palliative care space as well. Although palliative care predominately exists for terminally ill individuals, it also treats illness. Even if your doctor says your loved one has a 20% chance of living, your loved one can qualify for palliative care.
Hospice care is beneficial for your loved one and helps the caretakers as well. Once the hospice nurse arrives, you can expect them to help make sure your loved one has all the equipment and medication needed and will then connect you with the appropriate person for the following services. Most hospice nurses, however, perform the following tasks:
- Nursing care
- Grief counseling
- Social Work Services
- Clergy visitations
- Homemaking assistance
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech-language therapy
- Pain management
At Next Day Access, we are here to help you as you go through these challenging days with your loved one or patient. We offer many different devices that help to ensure your loved one is safe and comfortable. We also offer a complimentary consultation to help you determine if you need additional accessibility devices at your home. Contact us when you are ready, and we will help.