When someone’s illness becomes terminal, difficult choices have to be made about care. Families and those who are ill themselves must come to terms with their sickness and the next steps. Hospice services are one option that families often choose when it becomes obvious that a loved one’s condition is not going to improve.
We will examine hospice care, the services included, and what families can expect during this time. We’ll also look at how hospice services from Aleca can provide the best-skilled care.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care focuses on providing people with serious illnesses the care, comfort, and quality of life they deserve when nearing their last days. 1 Hospice care can begin when a patient chooses not to undergo certain treatments for their condition or it becomes obvious that no cure is available. This type of care is usually reserved for situations where a doctor advises a patient that they have six months or less to live without medical intervention. During hospice care, attempts to cure a person’s illness are stopped. No medications are given to treat the primary illness, although medications may be given to make the patient as comfortable as possible.
Hospice care is usually given at home. But hospice facilities offer services for those who do not wish to be or cannot be at home.
What Services are Included in Hospice Services?
Hospice services consist of a team of caregivers who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide care and support. Each person has a specific job to help families and patients through the process.
When a patient decides to enter a hospice program, they are asked to choose a primary caregiver. This is usually a family member or close friend. This person will work with the professional hospice team assigned to your case to develop a tailored care plan. The primary caregiver is the main point person who will help to make decisions for the patient and receive information.
A hospice doctor is usually in charge of a patient’s care, although a primary care doctor or specialist may also be involved. The hospice team also consists of the following:
- Social workers
- Home health aides
Nurses will make regular visits to in-home hospice patients. They are also available around the clock to answer questions and address concerns. Hospice care also includes palliative care for social, emotional, and spiritual support when needed. Volunteers can be a part of the team as well. Their role is to provide support for caregivers and family members and to provide respite if needed.
What Families Can Expect During Hospice Care
When hospice services start, the team will communicate with the patient’s doctor and the hospice physician to discuss medical history, symptoms, and life expectancy. Regular visits by different team members will also be scheduled. This includes a registered nurse who will help the family and patient get settled with hospice care.
If home medical equipment is needed, that will also be delivered along with necessary medications. As things change, the designated caregiver will receive information on managing the patient’s symptoms and pain. A social worker and chaplain may visit to add any emotional or spiritual support.
Throughout the process, your hospice care team will be there for you and your loved one as conditions change. They will tell you what needs to be done and answer any questions you have. Hospice care teams are incredibly caring and patient in helping patients and family members deal with difficult situations and decisions during this time.
Hospice Services from Aleca
When you choose hospice services from Aleca, you can expect a professional team of qualified and knowledgeable health experts. They will provide compassionate care that is patient-centered. Our team includes doctors, nurses, social workers, and a chaplain, who are all available to guide you along the way.
Our hospice care is available throughout Maricopa County. For more information, call us today or contact us online to begin organizing care for your loved one. Discover why so many families turn to us during their most difficult times.
Dan is Vice President, Marketing of the Alumus family of companies. A Seattle native, he earned his BA in Humanities and Political Science at Evergreen State College. He started his career as a newspaper columnist, eventually transitioning into marketing and tech writing for Microsoft and several other startups. He later launched a successful creative agency focused on branding, digital marketing, and content production in Los Angeles, where he worked for several nursing and behavioral health clients, eventually becoming the National Marketing Director for one of them.
He has taught Vipassana mindfulness meditation and MBSR and spends whatever free time he has with his son snowboarding, hiking, and camping in the mountains.