In society, it is commonly believed that every person goes through the circle of life. Simply put, we are born, we live life and then we die, but during the process, we go through the circle of life. Older citizens tend to think about their childhood days as they grow old and they desire the same level of care, concern, and showers of love, just like they wanted when they were much younger. As they step into their last days, they face the need to make a decision as to where they want to spend them. When a senior receives a terminal diagnosis, it presents major changes for both the person as well as the entire family.
During this time, many find comfort in placing their loved one in a local hospice facility that can offer the compassion and specialized care they need as they enter this last chapter of their lives. For those of you with an elderly loved one that you believe might not have long, this guide offers everything you should know, consider and expect when choosing a Hospice Care facility.
What is Hospice Care for Seniors?
Also referred to as end of life or comfort care; Hospice Care is a type of palliative care; however the goal of Hospice Care is not to treat or cure a person who has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, rather it focuses on providing them the care they need to feel comfortable during this difficult time. Hospice care offers pain relief, emotional support, medical treatment as well as help for the entire family. It provides seniors and those with terminal illnesses the opportunity to die with dignity and help manage any pain they might be feeling.
Hospice Care is all about improving the quality of life.
Who is Eligible for Hospice Care?
A common concern for caregivers and family members is that their relative is being pushed into hospice even before he or she is ready. However, the fact that you are considering it as an option shows that it is most likely the right time. It can be extremely difficult to watch your loved one transform into an entirely different person due to illness or old age. When they reach the stage where they can be admitted into a hospice, they are no longer the person you once loved and cared for, and this is where the hospice can help you in letting go and beginning the grieving process.
Hospice Care is mainly intended for end of life care, and it should be taken into consideration when a doctor starts saying there is almost nothing else that can be done to save the life of the person or before a health emergency forces them to be confined to a critical care unit. Generally, when it comes to making that ‘final’ decision it will be up to the facility and the patient that the time is right to start the journey to Hospice Care. However, Hospice Care is suggested for those that have about six months to live. In order to be eligible for Hospice Care, your loved one will need a referral diagnosis from a medical provider or a doctor.
What to Expect For Your Loved One?
When arriving at a Hospice Care facility, patients are individually evaluated by a team of nurses, physicians, social workers, etc. This helps the staff in determining if the person is really in need of Hospice services, and thereafter providing the necessary care for them.
To a great extent, Hospice Care does not interfere with your ability to tend to your loved one, and in certain cases you can continue to care for them like before. It’s the responsibility of the hospice staff to ensure that your elderly parent is as comfortable as possible and help you understand the important role you will play. You need to be able to trust that the hospice staff has your loved one’s best interest at heart and are prepared to deal with what’s to come. You have done your best and now you should focus on enjoying the time you have remaining with your loved one. One of the major benefits of Hospice Care is that they are designed to support the senior residents who stay there as well as his or her family.
When you or your loved one is in some sort of distress or discomfort due to an illness, of which home medications can no longer ease the pain, it is always a sad experience but this is what hospice staffs are trained to do. They carefully monitor patients and know just how to manage their needs and ensure they strictly follow their medication guidelines.
Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care
Many people tend to confuse palliative medicine with Hospice Care and although there are similarities between these two, such as they both involve a team of people working together to help those with serious conditions; there are key differences when it comes to level of care.
- Palliative medicine generally involves alleviating the symptoms and helping a person suffering from a chronic condition, as they continue with treatment.
- Hospice Care is designed to help those suffering from physical, psychological and emotional trauma, manage pain and feel as comfortable as possible as they approach the end of their lives. This type of care can be a great option for those who are in the last phase of an incurable disease or a senior entering the last chapter of their lives.
Finding The Right Hospice Care
Many people are generally aware of the term ‘hospice’ but being fully educated on the applications and what to expect when entering this level of care can be of equal importance; particularly when choosing where would be the best fit for your loved one. While there are many affordable options for Hospice Care throughout California and the country; the services provided and how they are administered can vary depending on the home you choose. If you are considering a senior living community for your loved one; it’s recommended to first visit the facility before you make your decision.
There are also a number of resources available to help you find a local hospice near you such as the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
In-Home Care vs. Hospice Facility
While some elect to use in-home Hospice Care; many find moving their loved one to a hospital or an affordable assisted living community that offers hospice services to be the best option. In addition to alleviating the stress this tragic situation can put on the entire family, senior living communities offer a well-trained staff with experience dealing with terminal cases and are committed to contributing all they can to the efficiency and positive environment of the hospice. The staff strives to satisfy all of the resident’s needs and ensure that your loved one is extremely comfortable and happy throughout this difficult time.
If your loved one is already in a senior living community; ask if they provide Hospice Care services for the level of care they are receiving. Depending on the individual; the top facilities will offer these services to residents for a variety of care levels; whether they are in assisted living, memory care for Alzheimer’s and Dementia or a board and care home.
The Benefits of Hospice Care
Even after educating yourself on how a hospice functions, when it comes to making the final decision, it can still be a difficult transition. It’s common for your loved one to not want to accept exactly what is bound to happen, inevitably earlier than later. However, a hospice is set up with the aim of alleviating such fears and reluctance to give up the control. It’s essential to communicate to your loved one that transitioning into a Hospice Care facility is the best choice for them as well as the whole family. Remember, to exercise patience and let them know that the services and benefits available at these types of communities is the best chance for them to feel as comfortable as possible for the time they have left.
To help encourage your loved one that it’s the right decision, here are some of the benefits they can expect from moving into a Hospice Care facility:
- One of the major benefits of Hospice Care is having a team available 24/7 for questions and to offer care when the need arises. It ensures someone will be tending to your loved one at all times; overseeing and managing all aspects of care and medical supplies that are needed.
- Hospice Care can be a more affordable and less costly option; particularly when it comes to the growing costs of medications and medical appointments.
- It offers personalized care and support to ensure the resident’s needs are met.
- Hospice Care offers an opportunity for seniors to die with a sense of dignity.
- The staff ensures that the resident’s wishes are respected throughout the process.
- The staff will help manage pain and relieve symptoms as they arise.
- Respite care is often offered to alleviate the overwhelming stress of acting as caregiver.
- The facility will make sure they are receiving as much enjoyment as possible during the time they have left.
- Hospice Care involves helping residents with daily need requirements that have become too difficult such as dietary management, getting dressed and bathing.
- Some facilities will provide family counseling to help residents and their families deal with what’s to come.
- Many facilities will provide volunteers to assist in meals and make sure what needs to be done has been.
Affordable Hospice Care at Yorkshire Village
Yorkshire Village is fully committed to caring for our residents; including end of life care. Our Hospice Services help provide security, dignity, as well as physical and emotional comfort for the entire family during this difficult time. As part of our mission to be a community that cares; we strive to ensure that all residents feel as comfortable and happy as possible about the decision of leaving the home they have come to love.
If you believe it’s time for you or a loved one to consider a Hospice Care facility, the staff at Yorkshire Village can help answer your questions and make sure you know what to expect so you can feel as comfortable as possible with this difficult and tragic transition.