The decision to choose hospice care is a difficult one, both for hospice care provider the patient and the family. When a person falls ill enough to require this, the families have a lot to consider. Where the person should live so that they are most comfortable is one of the biggest decisions, because this will be the location where they spend their final months. For some, choosing to have the patient remain in their own home and have care provided there is the best option, and there are programs that are designed to accomplish just that. While the vast majority of programs provide an empathetic staff to care for the individuals, there are extra considerations that must be weighed.
The following are three things to consider:
1. Medical Expertise
When a patient requires attention for a life-limiting illness, it is less essential to provide rehabilitation, but instead, a unique medical knowledge is needed to simply keep the patient as pain free and as comfortable as possible in their final days. Pain management and symptom relief are more crucial than recovery methods, and that is what each community should focus the majority of their expertise on. The quality of life that is provided to the patient in their final days will be the most crucial when determining what is right for each unique individual. Therefore, taking specific preferences into consideration is important.
2. Emotional Support
There are many emotions that are experienced, both by the patient and by their friends and family. Therefore, a network of counselors who can be available to provide emotional support is necessary not only for the patient but also for their friends and family as well. When selecting where the patient will be and how they will be taken care of, it is important that everyone involved feels comfortable speaking to the emotional support staff on hand and working with them to relieve any concerns or to answer any questions.
3. Spiritual Community
The end of life is a spiritual experience, and the respect for the unique spiritual beliefs of a patient is an important consideration when choosing the right caregivers. A Jewish hospice, for example, should have a rabbi on hand to help the patient when they have questions or require spiritual uplifting. Other considerations, such as religious traditions and the culture of Judaism should be addressed as well. In the final days of a person’s life, religion plays an important role in easing any fears and making the person comfortable by having their spiritual needs met.
When a patient enters hospice care, it is important that their mental, emotional and spiritual needs are being met in addition to their medical needs and comfort level. With the right healthcare providers, going through the end of life stages can be a time of peace.