When seniors encounter a slight health decline and require assistance to perform activities of daily living, the best option is assisted living. Here, the residents are helped in day to day activities like grooming, dressing, bathing among others in a home-like environment. The assisted living communities do not offer complex medical services.
For a patient diagnosed with an advanced life-limiting illness or condition, professionals may recommend them to hospice care. This is the care provided by professionals and volunteers with a goal of helping people who are facing palliative have comfort, dignity, and peace in their final days.
Like any other significant life change, moving from assisted living to hospice care can take an immense toll on an individual, reducing the quality and quantity of life. Dealing with a possible final exit on earth is not just hard to the patient, but even caregivers. Adequate preparation and information from credible resources like asssited living blog makes such changes manageable.
Establish if hospice care is the best
Hospice care seeks to give its residents the best quality of the last days of life and assist in the transition from life to the last breath. Anyone certified by a physician as having a life expectancy below six months is eligible for hospice care, regardless of their age.
Patients that settle for hospice must forego curative treatment as it is either non-effective or they do not wish to receive it. Hospice patients receive symptom and pain management measures.
As long as a physician document the eligibility, the patient can remain in hospice care beyond six months as the progress of terminal conditions is unpredictable. Though rare, some patients receive hospice care for one year or longer.
Starting the process
Once you are sure that hospice care is the best option for a patient, the next step is to engage a hospice representative for a session with the patient, family, and caregiver. Anyone can make the request, either a family member, hospice caregiver, physician, or staff at an assisted living home.
The hospice care representative should educate the concerned parties on the Medicare, insurance options, hospice services, as well as answer any question from the patient and family members. Another duty of the representative is to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the condition of the patient.
After the patient and caregivers are convinced and freely choose the hospice, the representative will facilitate admission into the hospice program. Completion of the admission process requires a signature from the patient or any other legally authorized party acting on their behalf.
Location of hospice care is also a critical factor that the parties involved need to consider. Depending on the patient’s needs, available facilities, hospice care services among others, hospice care may take place in a hospice center, hospital, home, or skilled nursing facility.
What to expect from hospice care
The hospice care provider services and support differ from one to another and is personalized to meet each patient’s needs. However, all seek to:
Ease the transition from life to Passing on: Passing on is inevitable. However, when one is certain that the end is near, all help to make the process easier is welcome. Hospice care helps to ease both physical and emotional pain while meeting the patients’ spiritual needs if they desire. The interdisciplinary care team assigned to every hospice patient may include a massage, art and music therapist, nurses, physician, bereavement counselor, social worker, and a chaplain. Each member’s focus is not the illness, but the individual, with the goal to ensure that the emotional, spiritual and physical needs are met.
Manage pain and symptoms: The hospice care centers seek to manage pain and signs at the earliest opportunity and creatively administering treatments.
Enhance the quality of life: Regardless of where a patient is receiving care, the hospice workers ensure that the environment adds the quality of life, meets their needs and is accessible.
Care for caregivers: When a patient is in respite care, they stay in a Medicare-approved facility like a hospital, nursing home, or hospice house. Caregivers/family members are allowed to visit as much as they wish to spend time with their loved ones.
Many factors determine how easy or hard the transition from assisted living to hospice care is to both a patient and caregivers. Among them, their afterlife belief, personality, age, condition, and other variables. The approach and quality of preparation make a huge difference. Hospice care facilitates makes it possible for a final exit in dignity and comfort.
Updated: August 3, 2018