In 2015, nearly 1.5 million people received hospice care in America, and those numbers are predicted to keep rising over the years. Nearly 100% of hospice patients received home hospice.
So why is home hospice such an appealing option?
It helps that the expenses of home hospice care are covered by Medicare under certain conditions. Once your loved one is no longer in need of curative help and needs end-of-life care, home hospice is an option that won’t pose a financial burden.
However, the appeal of home hospice relates to far more than the cost (or lack thereof). Read on to find out why home hospice, or routine home care, can make such a big difference for your loved one.
The Solace of a Familiar Place
For many elderly patients in need of hospice care, cognitive abilities are a concern. For those with memory-affecting conditions like dementia, major changes can create stress and even fear.
Even without cognitive or memory disorders, relocation to an unfamiliar place at the end of one’s life can cause undue stress. If possible, it’s ideal to allow your loved one to stay in a familiar place at the end of their life.
Home hospice care makes this possible, and don’t be fooled by the name! While your loved one can receive home hospice care in their actual house, we consider any place they’ve grown accustomed to “home.” That includes long-term or assisted living facilities and even adult foster care.
Family Members Don’t Have to Become Caretakers
It’s a big enough strain on you and your family to watch your loved one go through end-of-life changes.
Chances are, some of these changes are out of your realm of expertise, and professional help is necessary to provide your loved ones the aid they need. Plus, it can be difficult for relatives to feel like they are burdening you with their physical and mental health ailments.
With the help of home hospice caretakers, you don’t have to shift your role in your loved one’s life. The time you spend with your loved one can be purely family time where you can express love, create cherished memories, and be a source of happiness.
The Focus of Home Hospice is Comfort
We may not like to think about hospice care because we associate it with the end of curative treatments. However, home hospice care is an incredibly positive program that can be customized to fit your loved one’s needs. The goal of home hospice caretakers is to create comfort for your loved one!
At this point, curative treatment has subsided in the face of a terminal illness. That being said, there are still plenty of things home hospice caretakers can do to provide pain management.
Registered nurses can administer pain medication safely. With the help of doctors, they can make sure that pain medications are being taken in the correct dosage the appropriate amount of times per day. They can also prevent your loved one from taking medications that react poorly with one another.
Home hospice care also ensures that your loved one will have all of the appropriate medical equipment necessary. Excluding extreme circumstances, there will be no need for your loved ones to change locations to receive the medical attention they need.
Spiritual and Emotional Care
What many don’t know is that home hospice centers employ chaplains and social workers to fulfill patients’ spiritual and emotional needs.
When we’re dealing with a terminal illness, our primary focus tends to be on the medical needs of the patient. However, it’s equally as important to address their mental health in whatever way they see fit.
Chaplains can be brought in to discuss religious and spiritual matters with your loved one. For many patients, it is important that they have a chance to discuss their religious beliefs and their creator. Bringing in a chaplain can not only help your loved one come to terms with passing but can also bring them the solace that they’ve lived their life the way their creator wanted them to.
Social workers can fulfill a number of roles, from checking in on the patient’s physical comfort to providing social stimulation. Feeling seen and having someone to communicate with is important for people receiving home hospice care, especially if they are fully bedridden. Without it, the risk of isolation increases.
This is not to say that you and your family cannot provide emotional comfort. Rather, it is to say that having a professional trained in emotional and mental aid can allow your loved one to express what they’re feeling and receive helpful guidance and feedback on a regular basis.
Bereavement counselors are employed by home hospice centers to help not only your loved one but you and your family as you process your grief. This is often done in group sessions with your loved one, but you may be able to schedule one-on-one sessions, as well.
Bereavement counseling can encourage you to say and do the things you need to do before your loved one passes. This can make it a lot easier to accept the loss of your loved ones after they have passed, which is the final stage of grief.
Like spiritual guidance from a chaplain, bereavement counseling can also help your loved one to process the fact that they are dying. This is important because it can reduce feelings of fear and denial and improve your loved one’s mental health in their final months.
Consider Home Hospice Caretakers Your Friends and Allies
Bringing in-home hospice caretakers to your loved one’s home does not mean that you are giving up or relinquishing control. It simply means that you are expanding your methods of care for your loved ones in their final days.
If increasing your loved one’s care in a fully customizable way sounds right to you, fill out our patient referral page. We are your friends and allies, here to assist you in this journey of life.