When we ask families why they’re choosing hospice, we often hear it’s because a doctor told them there was nothing left to do. Too often, we hear this when their loved one has just days left to live. Even more often, we hear that families didn’t realize their loved one could have taken advantage of hospice services earlier. Ultimately, when it comes to the question, “why do people choose hospice,” what we hear most is this:
“I wish we had called you sooner.”
What families discover when they bring hospice care into their lives is a philosophy of care focused on treating the person, not just the disease. In hospice care, we care about our patients, not just for our patients. We ask our patients about their goals for the final days, weeks, and months of their lives, and we do everything we can to help make them possible.
“I want to die at home.”
For many patients, a perfect death means dying at home, free from pain, and surrounded by family. Circle of Life Hospice makes that possible by bringing all the care they need to them. When a patient is ready to begin hospice care, our hospice nurse assesses their needs, not just their condition. We then supply any medical equipment, medical supplies, and prescriptions necessary to treat the illness that bought them to hospice care.
Many people choose hospice care in the home to supplement family caregiver support by visiting throughout the week and providing guidance and education on how to administer medications and provide support. This creates a balance where patients and their family have time together alone at home, but also the peace of mind of knowing that the patient’s condition is being monitored with the support of hospice.
Throughout the week, nurses and aides will visit to provide medical and personal care. Social workers will stay in close contact with the family to ensure they have all the resources and support needed from our team as well as available community resources. In the meantime, chaplains address any spiritual concerns, and volunteers visit for companionship and to give family members time for a break.
Added Caregiver Support
A terminal diagnosis doesn’t just affect the patient. It also affects the people closest to them who are providing care while grappling with their own heartache. Part of the hospice mission is supporting the family along with the patient.
In addition to providing helping hands for patient care, our social workers can help families with funeral planning and connect them to services for which they may be eligible. These can include programs offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or local community support. We can also arrange for respite care for patients before caregiver burnout affects their caregiver’s well being.
Supporting the family is all part of our philosophy. When a patient’s family has the education and backup they need, patients receive the best possible care. In fact, research shows, on average, patients receiving hospice care at home live 29 days longer than patients with a similar illness who are hospitalized.
How can Circle of Life help your family?
The earlier you begin talking to your loved one about their wishes, the earlier we can begin answering your questions and providing the support you need.
If you would like to learn more answers to questions such as, “why do people choose hospice,” Circle of Life is available. Please call at 1-800-495-5511 to speak to us about our unique programs and why hospice might be right for your family.