Determining when your loved one should transition from chronic care to end of life care can be one of the most challenging things you will ever undertake. Though there is no specific point in a medical diagnosis where end of life care technically begins, the decision must be made on an individual patient’s case–based on their unique status and the progression of their respective illness.
Doctors may advise their patients on the states of a diagnosis that can offer general guidelines regarding the progressions of a specific disease. Additionally, there are other signs that it could be time to make the leap into end of life care. Some examples might include:
- The patient has visited the emergency room multiple times during a short period. Although they were stabilized, their condition continues to worsen over time.
- The patient has begun refusing the proper treatment because of their awareness of the depth of progression of their condition.
- Despite consistent medical care, the patient’s condition continues to decline.
- The patient may wish to remain at home rather than continuing to make trips to the hospital.
Who is End of Life Care For?
Any person with a life-threatening illness is eligible for hospice care. Such care is not limited by type of disease, age, background, culture, or belief.
Supportive care, in which assistance is offered to patients dealing with their emotions through this troublesome time, is offered in tandem with medical services. This allows a patient’s needs to be met throughout the lens of a variety of caregivers.
End of life care is delivered by an array of professional and highly-skilled providers. These people may work in the healthcare industry, various communities agencies, or human services. At Cardinal Hospice in Saginaw, Michigan, we partner only with providers who we know will offer your loved one unparalleled experience.
A dedicated team will be built specifically for your loved one, in order to improve their quality of life for however much time remains.
How can chronic care or end of life care help a patient?
End of life care focuses on the improvement of quality of life of patients through helping them manage their symptoms and by providing them spiritual, practical, and emotional support.
This service can be offered over brief periods of time or for longer, more chronic amounts of time. The difference between these two services is that chronic care is largely focused on the idea of eventual rehabilitation, while end of life care encompasses all of the emotional and logistical support that comes with someone nearing the end of their life.
This support also extends to the family or caregiver of the patient–we truly believe in supporting the entire family to ensure everyone’s piece of mind. Patients can also receive end of life care in the comfort of their homes, allowing them to be surrounded by their loved ones in the place in which they are most comfortable.
How common are such care programs?
These programs are relatively new. Unfortunately, it is common to see many families sacrificing their emotional well-being to care for a loved one in their time of need. Although this is noble, a service such as end of life care can allow families to spend cherished time with loved ones. This allows all parties to focus on bonding and enjoying one another, while relying on the professionals to take care of medical, and other, needs.
Let Cardinal Hospice Help You With the Transition to End of Life Care
End of life care is best commenced early, which allows patients to maintain the best quality of life that they can, according to the wishes they have set out. A person’s deteriorating medical condition and the fears of their loved ones during final-stage care can call for additional helping hands to ensure a graceful and dignified transition.
At Cardinal Hospice, we are dedicated to helping your loved one finish their life with poise and empathy. Please reach out today for a free consultation regarding what we can do for your loved one and your family.