Resources - December 3, 2018
Facing the end of life due to a terminal illness is never easy. Whether we ourselves are facing it or we’re helping loved ones cope, it can be difficult to know what to do. When such difficulties arise, medical care teams will advise us on when to consider hospice care to ensure our final days are as comfortable as possible.
Most people haven’t faced this situation. It is normal to be confused or uncertain about when and how to choose hospice care. We understand, and that’s why we’ve put together this brief guide to help you make the best choices for end-of-life care.
Hospice care is actually a philosophy; it’s an approach to care, not a place people go to die. This philosophy of care seeks to ensure the patient receives compassionate care to help them feel comfortable. The hospice team is dedicated to affirming life as patients enter their final stages of life. As a result, patients in hospice care tend to live longer than those who receive standard care.
Those facing the final stages of a terminal illness may be afraid of the potential for pain. End-of-life treatment (hospice care) acknowledges that the goal is no longer to seek a cure for the illness. The goal is to allow someone to live out their remaining days with dignity, honor and as little pain as possible. Hospice care ensures pain is kept to a minimum. Pain management helps minimize discomfort while keeping symptoms of the disease under control. And, to address emotional and spiritual needs, a hospice team often offers alternative therapies such as music, massage or pet therapy.
Counseling and spiritual support for both the patient and their caregivers is also part of hospice care. Your care team can arrange for sessions to explore what death means to you and your loved ones, finding ways to help everyone say goodbye, and/or helping the patient plan their funeral or life celebration. And bereavement counselors will continue to offer support and guidance to the family after the death of their loved one.
Whether you choose to receive hospice care in your home or in a health care setting, you can receive care 24/7. The hospice team, comprised of doctors, hospice nurses, social workers and others, will meet with the family to keep them informed about the patient’s medical condition and what to expect. Their goal is to help everyone come to terms and understand what is happening and why. The team welcomes your questions and our concerns. They’re there to support the family as well as the patient. You are not alone.
At Goodwin House, we serve patients in the comfort of their private homes, in health care facilities and within our two life plan communities–Goodwin House Alexandria and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads. Our services are covered under Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans.
Every life journey comes to an end. When it does, you can trust Goodwin House to support you and your family. We want to ensure you don’t feel alone or overly burdened during this emotional time. Our compassionate team works closely with patients and family to ensure a comfortable, peaceful end-of-life experience for everyone involved. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can support you.