Deciding to put a loved one in hospice care is a major life decision for the person or people making the decision and for the person going into hospice. The choice demonstrates that everyone involved understands that for the patient, it is the beginning of the end for that person.
As dark and melancholy as that sounds, hospice care, however, is also an effort to make the final stretch of a person’s life as comfortable, easy, and seamless as possible.
The following are several benefits hospice care provides to family members caring for the sick or the elderly.
Physical and Mental Relief For Caregivers
Caring for an elderly or sick individual is a lot of work. Most people do not realize how much work until they are neck deep in the process. At that point, the caregiver usually recognizes several aspects of providing for the patient:
- It is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting
- Caregiving is most often “as needed,” meaning there is no structure to the care
- Ensuring the patient is cared for leaves little time for appreciating them
- Emergency care throws everything into chaos
With hospice care, the patient and their loved ones get a concrete plan for care. The patient is kept comfortable, and loved ones can focus on enjoying the patient and loving them in their final days.
Providing care for a loved one when you are untrained on how to do so can be stressful. Added to that is the fact the patient is not always “at their best,” which means the loved ones caring for them have to have some thick skin at times.
Hospice care removes the regular stress from caregiving and puts the patient and loved ones at ease.
Hospice Care Providers are Professionals
While family and friend caregivers have the best intentions, they are not, in most cases, full-time caregivers. The lack of experience and training means they are constantly learning new skills to face challenges most have never encountered. Learning on the job also means mistakes can get made, and decisions are not always best for the patient.
Hospice care providers have experience providing expert end-of-life care in pain management, nutrition, hygiene, bathing, and grooming. Your hospice care provider is trained in end-of-life care and understands patient needs, concerns, and wants. A professional hospice care provider guarantees your loved one gets needed care.
Personalized, 24-hour Treatment and Care
While family member must juggle their personal lives to meet the needs of an ill or elderly loved one, the job of a hospice care professional is to be there for their patient.
They are trained and experienced in giving end-of-life care, which means there is no learning on the job or juggling other priorities.
Your loved one gets what they need professionally and expertly. That frees you up to focus on your loved one, rather than care for a patient.
Greater Access To Services
Navigating healthcare for a non-healthcare professional is a challenge. When that care is end-of-life, which presents its unique challenges, the expertise needed becomes even more refined. Often, all a family or loved one can do is rely on their healthcare team and hope for the best. If that team is not skilled in end-of-life care, the patient can suffer.
Hospice professionals know the industry well and are well-versed in the needs of end-of-life patients. They have experience navigating the system and know what is available and what services will best help the patient. The expertise a hospice care professional possesses provides access to the following medical, health, social, and care services:
- Physicians and medical specialists
- Care nurses
- Social workers
- Home health and care professionals
- Religious support
- Care volunteers
When you put a loved one into hospice care, you are putting them in care that ensures all their needs are met by experts in their fields. Knowing the care they are given is the best available can help reduce stress on the family members of the patient. It also helps reduce stress on the patient as their care is more uniform, professional, and capable.
Dignity and Life Value
A major concern of most people facing the end of their lives, whether it be because of illness or age, is that they are “a burden” on the family members providing them care. Feeling like a burden can make the patient resistant to care unless it is an emergency and out of their hands.
Hospice care helps alleviate that feeling of being a burden. The patient can rest easy knowing they are being cared for by a professional that specializes in the type of care they need.
The Benefits of Hospice Are Clear
End-of-life care is always a challenging time, for all involved. However, most of those challenges are alleviated by taking advantage of what hospice care offers. Fewer challenges mean the patient can focus on their family and the family can focus on them, which is a win for all involved.
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