September 5, 2016 by Miller Funeral & Cremation Services Staff
The journey between diagnosis and treatment can be arduous… Full of roadblocks, stormy weather, and unnavigable terrain, this part of life can be fraught with pain or doubt. But what happens when treatment doesn’t work, or when a cure is unattainable?
Hospice care is a suitable choice for people with a prognosis of less than a year, but choosing it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the journey. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some people with limiting illnesses to live longer than expected – a reality thanks, in part, to the compassionate expertise of end-of-life care providers.
What Is Hospice Care All About?
Recent statistics show that hospice care can extend a patient’s life, underscoring the valuable difference made by nurses and caregivers. It’s generally misunderstood as a last resort; instead, hospice care provides opportunities for those with terminal illness to live out their remaining days in a calm, comfortable, and meaningful way.
Hospice care does not mean all hope is lost. Instead, it allows for a support team to stabilize symptoms while addressing other facets of a patient’s life. As a result, a patient can gain some control over his or her life, and live remaining days with dignity.
State Of Mind
Care is typically offered at a patient’s home, nursing home, or other type of care facility, and is not a place one goes to. Comprised of nurses, social workers, home health assistants, chaplains, counselors, and volunteers, a hospice team can provide intermittent, yet continuous, care every hour of the day, or as needed.
All Together Now
Before joining with a hospice care provider, a physician must confirm life expectancy. While this only serves as a guideline, it then becomes a patient’s, or the person serving as power of attorney’s, responsibility to choose how to proceed. It may seem like a one-way street, but those on hospice can go on and off, or re-enroll, as they (or their team) see fit.
Quality, Not Quantity
One of the many positive characteristics of hospice care is that it effectively bridges any gaps between the patient, physicians, and those part of the support network in a holistic fashion.
Once the emphasis is placed on “quality”, a patient may benefit from symptom and pain management, but hospice care doesn’t end there. Emotional, spiritual, and social support are integral aspects of hospice, and the needs of a patient’sloved ones also become priorities for care providers.
The Gift Of Time
Our staff at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services understands the innate challenges that can often face families considering hospice care. Please contact us if we can be of service to you and your family.