When terminally ill patients no longer wish to undergo more treatments because they feel they are not working anymore, they may opt to stop the treatments altogether and start with hospice care. Hospice care is not an institution or a structure like nursing homes.
Instead, it is a philosophy of care that helps patients live a life free from pain and suffering so that they can enjoy the remaining days of their lives with their family. Some people see hospice care as giving up, but that’s not the case. It just has a different goal than other types of care.
Instead of prolonging the lives of their patients, it focuses on improving their quality of life. A hospice care team will include a nurse, doctor, counselor, social worker, home health aide, trained volunteers, and a chaplain if you are religious.
There are different types of hospice care services offered in Indiana. These include nursing care, medical social services, doctor services, spiritual services, homemaker or home care aide services, 24-hour care, hospice inpatient care, volunteer care, respite care, and bereavement support, as well as occupational, physical, and speech therapy.
Purpose of Hospice Care
Most terminally ill patients have gone through extensive treatment sessions in the hopes of curing or slowing down their disease. Some procedures can be quite invasive and can exhaust the patients more than cure them.
Hospice care aims to improve the patients’ quality of life by helping manage the symptoms of their illness while freeing them from these treatments that take more away than give back. The less a patient is in pain, the more they can enjoy life with their loved ones.
This does not only benefit the patient but all the family members as well, especially the main caregiver of the family.
When Does Hospice Care Start?
Terminally ill patients with less than six months to live are referred to a hospice care program by their doctor. In some cases, doctors and the hospice team will let a patient stay in hospice care longer than six months if they believe that the patient still has a short time to live. Patients must qualify to enter hospice care, but they can choose to discontinue the services anytime they want.
The subject of hospice care is a very sensitive one. No one wants to be the first one to bring it up in any conversation. However, you also need to see and understand its benefits for everyone in the family. Furthermore, it is not a permanent choice. You may still decide to stop with hospice care and continue with your treatments anytime.