Hospice is a gift, especially for the sick patient. There comes a time in one's life where you have to choose the path forward. Unfortunately for some people that are not able to beat the disease - this means it is probably time to talk about hospice. Unfortunately for some people despite different operations and therapies, the disease has beaten them, everyone should be given the right to choose, but unfortunately hospice is not a topic many families want to discuss.
Although man has a zest for living there is a distinctive difference between existing and living. Living means being able do most things for oneself, and more especially being pain free. If you are in a lot of pain and unable to perform tasks for yourself and your disease is imminent then hospice is offered to your loved one.
The entire key to hospice is open discussion and communication with the family and the patient. Most patients don't want to be a burden to their loved ones, nor do they want to be in a hospital setting at that time in their lives. This is a time to take your loved one home and surround them with family, love and support.
What is hospice and how does it work?
Hospice is an entire team of professionals, medically trained individuals all under the supervision of the doctor. This team addresses every need for the patient. When the patient can no longer advocate for himself, their wishes are followed.
The hospice experience is to manage the terminal effects of the patient's disease in a calm, relaxed atmosphere with a pain free environment. As a consumer you have a choice for hospice care and can also change companies if you are not happy with the original hospice company you choose. Some hospice companies supersede others by going above and beyond and by putting the family and patient at ease.
There should always be a level headed family member of the family that is the point of contact and can vouch for the patient. Someone that is willing to step up and ask questions relative to the care the patient is receiving. This person also has to be strong to advocate properly for the patient that is in hospice. I have seen many family members change their minds having made the decision to go the hospice route. The family needs to be in agreement for the best outcome for the patient.
Hospice is 24/7 support but does not necessarily mean hospice will be present 24/7 hours a day around the clock. There are however, some hospice companies that will prescribe a nurse to be at the bedside 24/7. This is a wonderful service especially if there are no other family members around for support and assistance with the patient. This is where you need to educate yourself on the differences between Hospice companies. Like everything else it is better to be proactive than reactive. It takes about seven hours to bring a patient on for hospice care and there is a lot of documentatin that needs to be adressed before hand. Dont leave it to the eleventh hour to decide “ We need hospice now”. The hospice nurse will need time to get the process going and to put everything in place.