Many hospice professionals have expressed their concern that caregivers feel guilty calling in hospice for the care of their loved ones, leading them to wait days, weeks, or even months before picking up the phone. Obviously, the patient needs to consent to hospice care, but often it’s not the patient who has an issue calling in hospice at the end of life – often, it’s the family members and caregivers who are reluctant to accept a terminal diagnosis or reluctant to discuss the possibility of death. It’s understandably difficult to accept that our loved one’s life expectancy is limited to less than six months, but when we accept the situation as it is, we can begin to ensure that our loved one’s remaining days are as comfortable as possible.
Choosing to utilize hospice care does not mean giving up hope. Rather, calling in hospice care helps you make the most of each day and guarantees the patient has the best quality of life possible. Not only does hospice care involve pain and symptom relief, it may be provided in hospitals, nursing homes, or even in the patient’s own home, enabling the patient to spend his or her final days in a familiar and more comfortable environment. Hospice care focuses on many aspects of the patient’s life and well-being – physical, emotional, and spiritual – and includes the involvement of the patient’s doctor, nurses, social workers, counselors, dieticians, chaplains, and trained volunteers.
Most terminally ill patients, along with their loved ones, experience less anxiety when they refocus on the remaining time they have together. The compassionate care of hospice caregivers provides families and loved ones with the opportunity to spend quality time together during the last months. You can find more information about hospice care, along with frequently asked questions about this type of end-of-life care in eFuneral’s resources section.
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