Everyone wishes to live a healthy and happy life but falling ill is part of life. Some various diseases and ailments can affect a person regardless of age or gender. However, young individuals tend to recover quickly rather than older adults.
As a person grows old, his immune system is not as effective and strong as when he was in his youth and adulthood. It is a natural phenomenon that with age, your senses, body responses, and fitness starts to age as well.
Older adults are more prone to fall sick to a chronic ailment, and the reason why most tend to take medications often. The acute diseases are easily curable and only last for a little while. On the contrary, chronic ailments are difficult to treat, and the treatment process is also quite lengthy. Some of the chronic diseases that the adults are at risk of the contract are
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Osteoporosis; and
The Growing Importance of Hospice Care
Chronic ailments are not easy to treat, and in some cases, it becomes very difficult for doctors to treat the illness. Hospice care is a term that denotes the treatment of patients who have six months to 12 months of life expectancy. The purpose of hospice care is to improve the quality of life of terminally ill patients rather than treating the illness.
Hospice care is a service that can be provided at home in a particular clinic or a nursing home. There are also certain facilities purposefully designed to provide quality care for patients in their final months. The goal of hospice care in Chicago is to provide maximum comfort, reduce pain, and ensure patients get all the love.
A hospice and palliative center consist of expert doctors, therapists, nurses, and social workers who provide care. Hospice is a particular field that focuses on comprehensive care to patients with chronic and terminal diseases. The patients who suffer from chronic illness usually experience pain and weakness and want a peaceful transition—the emphasis is on the improvement of life rather than curing the illness.
A hospice care center offers a wide range of services that helps to address every aspect of the patient’s care. However, the center considers the beliefs, values, and goals of each patient. There are chronic and progressive health conditions such as cancer in which there comes a stage that illness becomes incurable.
The end-stage condition of the illness can take a physical, mental, and financial toll on the patient and his family. Hospice care addresses the well-being of the patient and manages the physical symptoms of the illness. There is also the importance of providing moral and emotional support to the patient’s family.
When Does Hospice Care Start
The need for hospice care begins when an illness such as cancer reaches end-stage and treatment can no longer cure it. The standard time of hospice care is when the patient is six months or less to live. The patient and the family must discuss when hospice care should begin.
In many cases, the patient’s family and doctors feel that hospice care is a last resort and try to treat the illness. The patient also has the option to leave hospice care and go into active treatment whenever he wants. Ensuring that the patient gets quality care and dignity in the final months is the primary goal of the hospice care center.
The Type of Services provided by Hospice Care
Nearly all hospice care centers provide the same services, but the approach may be different. Palliative care is also known as symptom management and supportive care. It deals with managing the symptoms rather than curing the illness.
The professional doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff help manage the patients’ physical, emotional, and social issues. Palliative service is all about reducing discomfort, nausea, pain, and other effects of illness and weakness. The type of hospice care varies according to the place. The care services provided in a home are different than those at a proper hospice care facility.
In a home, there are few amenities, but a wide range of comfort and luxury is offered at the hospice care center. The religious and spiritual needs of the patients are also important. The services may include help with religious ceremonies or rituals.
There are regular meetings between nurses, social workers, and the family of the patient. In the meetings, nurses discuss the patient’s condition and inform the family on what to expect. The purpose of meetings is to give moral support and relief to the patient’s family. The hospice team coordinates the tasks that help to deliver proper care to the patient.
There is respite care where the patient can get the best service in a facility, and the family can attend a private event. The hospice care continues even if the patient passes away. A trained counselor provides emotional support to the bereaved family. The bereavement services can continue as long as 10 to 12 months for those mourning the loss of their loved one.
What is the difference between Hospice and Palliative Care?
The purpose of hospice and palliative care is to provide relief and quality of life to the patient in the final stage. Palliative care can be given at any stage of a chronic illness. On the other hand, hospice care is given when the patient has six months or less to live.
There are professional teams who care about the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the patient. A patient can receive palliative care during active treatment. At the same time, hospice care is all about managing the symptoms rather than treating the illness.
The common symptoms that require treatment include weakness, shortness of breath, vomiting, anxiety, and constipation. Many patients are also anxious about not feeling their best and require relief from stress and depression.
Hospice care is essential for not only cancer patients but people suffering from other chronic and terminal diseases. Patients get a wide range of services, including food, wheelchairs, medications, nutritional supplements, and wound care treatment. Hospice care is covered under Medicare and requires no additional fee; however, services vary from one state to another.