How a Hospice Referral Can Provide Comfort and Eliminate Fear
We often educate on the importance of not delaying a hospice referral because we believe an earlier referral allows the patient and his or her family to better prepare mentally and spiritually for the end of the patient’s life. Yet a common misconception that hospice care is merely symptom management often leads to a later referral. In fact, hospice care involves many additional benefits to provide comfort:
- Provides assistance in obtaining appropriate equipment and medications
- Empowers families to take care of their loved one in the comfort of home
- Helps alleviate the fear that often occurs for patients and their families
- Helps a spouse with Social Security issues, financial issues, and long-term care questions
- Addresses family dynamics and spirituality concerns (if any exist)
Hospice is not about dying, but about quality of life at the end of life. The mindset should be that there are many things to do from this point forward. It’s a matter of shifting goals, not stopping. Shifting goals when there is nothing left to do for a cure means continuing with managing pain and maximizing comfort, continuing involvement of the physician and continuing involvement of the family.
The hospice period gives people an opportunity to finish up life’s business and let go in a way that they can feel at peace. Hospice staff help patients discover what is important, whether it’s saying, “I love you,” finishing a project, or something as simple as organizing a sock drawer. Whatever is important to the patient becomes the goal.
In this process, there are many reasons for hopefulness:
- Time to share hopes and dreams for others, even if the patient will not be present to see those dreams fulfilled
- Time to say all the things never actually said
- Time to simply enjoy being in the presence of loved ones
- Chances to go places or do things that have been just dreams
- The chance to explore or confirm a personal spiritual meaning of living and dying
- More days of feeling good rather than poorly
- Time to express wishes regarding end-of-life care and funeral arrangements
- Being comfortable and pain-free
- The hope of being able to die a peaceful death
To learn more about the many positives to be gained through the implementation of hospice care, email or call Hired Hands Homecare, the Sonoma home care experts, at (866) 940-4343. We’ll be happy to provide you with some additional helpful resources about our top-rated senior home care and to walk beside you every step of the way. To view a list of all the communities we serve, please visit this page.