Autoimmune Disease Management 101: Fighting Back

Understanding Hospice Services: Helpful Information For Caretakers

Caring for a spouse, child, elderly parent, or other loved one in the last stages of life is a stressful, but very loving choice. When cancer or another terminal illness is involved, working with hospice services is frequently needed to provide optimal care and comfort. Those who are serving as a caregiver for the first time may have questions about hospice services and how these services can be used to benefit their loved one. If you are in this position, the following information can help you feel more informed about this important medical service. 

What is to be expected of hospice care services? 

Hospice services provide monitoring, pain relief, and managed care for a terminally ill patient. Unlike doctors and nurses in a hospital environment where curing disease is the ultimate goal, hospice personnel are solely focused on keeping their patient as comfortable as possible until death occurs.

When is the right time to call for hospice services? 

In most cases, the physician will help the patient and caregivers decide when hospice services are needed. This usually occurs when the life expectancy of the patient has been reduced to a period of just a few months. It is wise, however, for the patient and their caregivers to discuss hospice care earlier and make initial arrangements that will make the process smoother when actual hospice care becomes necessary. 

Where are hospice services administered? 

While most patients and caregivers opt for hospice care to be handled in the comfort and privacy of their own home, it is also available in medical care settings including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and treatment hospitals. 

What levels of hospice care are available?

Hospice care is done on many levels, depending upon the needs of the patient and the medical condition they suffer from. Most patients require one or more of the following levels of hospice care: 

Respite level hospice care can help to ensure that caregivers remain physically and emotionally healthy by allowing them a break from the demands of caring for a terminally ill loved one. 

To learn more about hospice care and how it can benefit someone you love, caregivers are advised to discuss their questions and concerns with a trusted hospice care service in their area. For more information, talk to a company like Agape Hospice PC.