4 Questions to Ask a Hospice Care Provider during COVID-19

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If you have a loved one who is terminally ill, getting them the best care possible is easy by bringing them to medical professionals. But doing this amid an ongoing pandemic can be tricky even as more individuals are getting vaccinated. Fortunately, you have an alternative, which is seeking hospice care. You just have to ensure all the much-needed services are ready. Here are some questions to consider asking every potential hospice provider:

Do you allow in-patient visits?

Hospice care providers primarily focus on home health care to prepare patients and their loved ones to handle the eventual passing. Alternatively, some can opt for long-term care facility arrangements. However, there may be more limitations than usual because of the quarantine restrictions. 

In most cases, hospice care requires touch or meeting the need for physical and emotional connection.  It can be truly isolating for your loved one who needs consistent touch and interaction if their hospice care provider does not allow in-patient visits. Because of this, make sure to select the provider that offers an intensive care plan to orient visitors and keep your dear patient safe. If you cannot find such a provider, consider reaching out to a home nursing care provider.

What are the safety precautions being implemented?

Despite the ongoing vaccination rollout, there is still a risk of becoming infected or transmitting the virus. Keep in mind that your loved one who is chronically or terminally ill is already in pain and discomfort, and the best step that you can do to avoid giving more stress to them is to protect them from other serious illnesses.

When deciding on a hospice care provider, they must take safety precautions seriously, especially in these challenging times. To determine one that prioritizes your health, ask about the guidelines they implement. These include having vaccinated staff, using face masks, conducting regular cleaning and disinfection, wearing personal protective equipment, and more. 

How do you support non-physical needs?

Physical health and comfort play a significant role in the patients’ quality of life, but this should not be the only focus on caring for their overall well-being. For example, during the end of life, the ill person and their loved ones experience many spiritual and emotional crises. That being said, hospice care providers must also concentrate on meeting their patients’ spiritual and emotional needs.

Learn more about how your potential hospice care provider supports non-physical needs by checking if they offer different services. These include telephone or video visits with therapists, counseling, visits with spiritual advisers and ministers, and worship services.

Do you offer support for the patients’ loved ones?

It’s difficult seeing your loved one struggling with an illness or dealing with pain. As a friend or family member of the patient, you experience and are forced to process various emotions, like sorrow and grief. This is especially challenging during this time because you also have to cope with the pandemic. To receive the help and support you need, reach out to a quality hospice care provider offering support services, such as counseling and providing information about local resources.

Conclusion

Being a friend or a family member of a critically or terminally ill patient means caring for your loved one’s needs while facing a great deal of stress. Unfortunately, managing emotional distress is more difficult as you deal with the pandemic. The good news is you can overcome this struggle by making a well-informed decision about your chosen hospice care provider.

If you are looking for hospice care in Denver and Colorado Springs, reach out to Gateway Home Health. Our clinicians and therapists are dedicated to providing you and your ill loved one with the highest quality of home-based patient care. Book an appointment now!

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