The greater Sacramento and South Placer County region is fortunate to have a great network of hospice care providers. While many people have heard of hospice care, unless you have been involved with hospice care for a relative or loved one, you may not fully understand what their role is. What exactly does hospice do? Why they are needed and what purpose do these organizations serve?
Hospice care provides medical services, emotional support and in some cases spiritual support for those that are in the final stages of a terminal illness. Hospice can be described as a mercy. People were dying without dignity, away from a home familiar to them and without the proper care. A few people got together and agreed that an old idea should be brought back. The dying process should not be a time of confusion and pain. As much as possible, it should be a time to let go as easily as possible.
Hospice care is not just for the person who is dying but for their family and loved ones to help them understand the process and to know how to love, comfort and support that person. Three of the services hospice provides are alleviating pain, providing comfort and companionship and professional care all focused on providing dignity.
Taking Away the Pain
Most people can stand more pain than they think they can, but, they should not have to. Hospice nurses are trained in pain management and they have a doctor available (the family physician) to talk to anytime they believe the pain medication needs to be changed. Without a hospice nurse, it is impossible to control the agonizing pain that some people will go through because of the particular disease they have. Cancer, COPD and many other diseases come with intense and increasing pain. You owe it to your loved one to make them as comfortable as possible in their last days so they can enjoy their family and communicate the things that are important to them. Alleviating pain is a critical aspect of providing that comfort.
Finding Companionship and Compassion
A family caregiver cannot always provide the kind of compassion needed. It is possible to be a loving companion but actually make the emotional pain and stress worse for the dying person. Your loved one does not want to see you in pain any more than you want that for them. Hospice provides volunteers and staff who can come and offer companionship that is free from an emotional burden. In addition, the education and support that the hospice care givers provide for the family members helps them to interact with their loved one with appropriate responses and care.
Not only will the hospice care providers treat the patient’s symptoms and alleviate pain, but because of their vast experience, they know what to expect next and can anticipate what will be needed. They will make sure that you have the correct equipment and supplies at just the right time so that you do not have to frantically run around to get these and can, instead, spend quality time with your loved one.
The Proviso of Professional Attention
Hospice workers are trained, compassionate individuals who create a cocoon of comfort for the dying in their last days. But, that professional care does not come cheap. That is why there are stipulations to the care. A physician must think that the individual is within six months of their death and must request the hospice care. The hospice professionals have complete control of care from the time they agree to take a case but will interact with the physician as needed. The cost of hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medi-cal and most health insurance companies so often there is not cost paid by you or your loved one for this service.
The hospice care available from Bristol Hospice Sacramento, Sutter Care at Home and Vitas Innovative Hospice Care is able to give the care you cannot. The professionals at these agencies can take away pain, provide emotional support and provide quality service. Seek the guidance of someone who can make the last days of your loved one better for both you and for them.