Having a loved one in hospice care who only has six months or less to live is difficult and devastating, regardless of their illness or age. Hospice care is likely on the horizon, and the transition may be challenging; hence, you need to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Remember, every hospice transition is different, as many things can affect it. Here are some of the things you need you to know:
1. Explore Your Hospice Care Options
When transitioning to hospice care, the conversation you have with the patient’s doctor is crucial and should be your first step. Keep in mind: transitioning to hospice doesn’t mean giving up; instead, it’s an alternative solution to manage the symptoms and condition of the patient.
Your doctor will provide you with hospice recommendations, but you can also research on your own. There are plenty of resources online where you can find hospice care providers in your area. Also, use this time to read more about hospice care; the more you know about it, the more it will help you with the decision-making process.
2. Receive Care
Once a loved one is conscious of choosing the provider, or if you have already chosen one, they can begin to start receiving care even in their homes. Hospice care doesn’t have to be done in a facility. Usually, hospice delivers medical equipment to your loved one’s residence shortly after they enroll.
Your loved one may be hesitant at first, which is common; patience is the key here.
3. Communicate With Loved Ones
Once your loved one starts to receive hospice care, contact other family members and loved ones to inform them about the situation. Early communication will inform them of the best times to visit at home and additional specific information. Make sure you remain clear when you tell your loved ones about the diagnosis as well.
4. Ask Help from Hospice Team Members
The hospice team is ready to help you should you need it; therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact them when needed. Hospice care teams usually involve:
- Registered nurses: They make regular visits to ensure your loved one receives proper care. Nurses will also help organize the patient’s pain management plan and answer general medical questions you and the patient may have.
- Chaplains: They offer spiritual and emotional support to help the patient through difficult questions about life and death. Chaplains can also pray with them or provide a listening ear.
- Hospice volunteers: They interact with patients and families to assist with daily tasks.
If a loved one is ready to transition to hospice care, take the time to appreciate every conversation and interaction you have with them. You can also help them perform their favorite activities. Make sure you stay attentive and understand that this is your opportunity to make more lasting memories with them. Indeed, these are challenging times, but you can make the transition easy by knowing some of these tips, from exploring your hospice options and communicating with other family members.
For quality and compassionate hospice care in Denver and Colorado Springs, CO, Gateway Home Health has your loved one covered. We are committed to providing the highest quality of home-based patient care. Contact us today to learn more.