Hospice care does not just focus on patients who are ill and near end-of-life. These services also provide compassion and support to their families. When a loved one is diagnosed with a terminally-ill disease, it can be difficult to talk about end-of-life choices. Hospice family care services are designed to make this process easier by providing family members with knowledge and guidance about end-of-life care. The support that these certified professionals lend can provide great peace of mind while also making the transition to hospice easier on both patients and their families.
Comprehensive Care for Patients and Families
When families receive a diagnosis of a terminal illness, everyone suffers. Although you may not be the ill person, you are viewed as an important family member who will likely play a vital role on the patient’s care team. Throughout the duration of the illness, and following the death, you will need support and care from professionals who are familiar with the process. Hospice family care is made up of a dedicated team of hospice and palliative care providers who not only focus on the patient, but also their loving families.
Hospice care differs significantly from standard care provided at hospitals and other medical facilities. Through hospice family care services, providers take on a comprehensive approach to ensure that both the patient’s and his or her family’s needs are met. This is often achieved with a coordinated care approach, and sometimes with a biopsychosocial care method. Depending on the diagnosis, professionals may be introduced to the patient’s care team, such as social workers, CNAs, RNs, Chaplains and hospice volunteers. As patient’s approach the final season of life, having a supportive hospice and palliative care team is invaluable.
The Role of Family Members in Hospice Care
Family members should never sit on the sidelines when it comes to hospice care. In fact, they should play a vital role in the care and wellbeing of their loved one as they are the people that know that person best. Family members can often tell if their loved one is in pain or uncomfortable just by the tone of their voice, their facial or body expressions, or by simple verbal cues. Hospice care providers can then step in to provide any necessary medical care to diminish the patient’s pain with great precision.
Hospice family care teams have vast experience dealing with all types of families with loved ones experiencing the end-of-life process. Hospice providers understand the importance of providing terminally-ill patients with a high standard of care and attentiveness. This is not only paramount for the happiness and comfort of the patient, but also for the peace of mind of family members. Families are able to enjoy their final days with their loved ones when they know the patient’s medical needs are being met. Patients can also feel good knowing that their families are being given extra support.
Professionals that Provide Hospice Family Care
There are many people involved in the average hospice care team. Social workers can help families prepare for possible life changes that may occur following the death of their loved one. In addition to providing valuable knowledge and guidance, social workers can deliver community resources that help families repair damaged relationships. Hospice can also connect families with spiritual leaders. These professionals can facilitate conversations between patients and their families that help prepare for death and future memorial services. Spiritual leaders can also help families cope with any spiritual concerns or questions they may have about the dying process.
Other important members of the hospice care team include bereavement coordinators, therapists, and other support providers. These professionals can help families prepare for and deal with feelings of great loss before and after the death of their loved one. In some cases, hospice volunteers will play a part in family care. Volunteers are able to offer their time, compassion, companionship, and hospitality to grieving families. Hospice family care does not stop after the death occurs. Hospice teams often reach out to families with information and resources a year or more following the death.
Learn More About Hospice and Palliative Care
There are many patients that pass away in nursing homes or hospitals who receive care not consistent with their final wishes. To help ensure that a person’s needs are met, end-of-life services are available. Hospice offers patients and their families the opportunity to spend their final days together in a compassionate environment that aims to make the patient as comfortable as possible. Hospice family care services also help family members become better equipped to deal with the dying process and aftermath.