When Is The Right Time To Consider Hospice Care?
It’s never easy to admit that your loved one might need more care than you can provide, nor is it easy to admit that they might be sicker than you want to believe. You want to have your loved one around forever, even though we all know that’s not possible.
As your loved one gets sicker, you may start thinking about the need for hospice care. However, you may not be sure whether you need to consider a 24-hour agency, in-home hospice care, or some other care option.
Here are a few things to think about to know if it’s the right time to look for hospice care in Mesa:
Requirements for Hospice Care
Hospice care is intended for patients who have a terminal illness and who cannot be treated with traditional medical care. Surgery, radiation therapy, medicine and other treatments will not improve their condition or add more time to their life.
Instead of treating patients, hospice care is focused on making them as comfortable as possible in the time they have left, including helping them be free of pain.
Every Mesa Hospice agency will have its own rules for what patients qualify for its services. However, the general rule for hospice care is that the patient must have six months or less to live. Many facilities require a note from a doctor to certify this criteria.
Of course, doctors are not fortune tellers, so your loved one may actually live much longer than six months even if given this diagnosis. That doesn’t mean that hospice services will be canceled. Your loved one will be allowed to stay in the agency and continue receiving care, but the agency may require ongoing certification from the doctor.
Once you know that your loved one qualifies for hospice care, it is recommended that you find a provider as soon as possible. That care will prove invaluable to your loved one’s quality of life in those final days.
What Hospice Care Provides
In-home hospice care provides pain management and other medical care to make the patient comfortable. By staying at home, the patient can feel more comfortable surrounded by a familiar environment and his or her own belongings.
At a dedicated hospice agency, care will be taken to make the patient comfortable by providing a home-like setting. The agency will foster independence by offering things like lift chairs or mobile oxygen tanks.
The care team will also look for ways to improve the patient’s quality of life, such as by providing appropriate activities and entertainment and facilitating visits and family contact.
Not only does hospice care improve quality of life for the patient but also for the loved ones. Many family members try to take on the burden of patient care, but they do not have the right medical training and they typically have full-time jobs and other responsibilities to meet. Trying to provide care will cause serious stress and financial strain.
By hiring a hospice provider, family members lift this burden so they can focus on spending time with their loved one and making those last days count.
Alternatives to Hospice Care
Perhaps your loved one does not qualify for hospice care but still needs care that you cannot provide. There are many alternatives in Mesa that you can consider.
General home care provides your loved one with assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and walking. This is great for those who have limited mobility or who are suffering from weakness or balance issues because of illness or injury.
Home health care provides medical treatment from a skilled nurse or therapist. This may include administering medications, conducting physical therapy sessions, changing wound dressings, and more.
Patients who have multiple or chronic health conditions may benefit from adult day health care. Instead of entering a 24-hour agency, they go to a day program that provides medical treatment and other care. This is a great option for family members who are willing to take on the burden of care at night but who cannot be available during the day because of jobs.
Finally, adult day care centers are a good option for those who need some supervision and opportunities for socialization during the day but don’t need intensive medical care. Again, these centers are a good option for family members who are not able to be available during the day but want to make sure their loved ones are being cared for while they are away.
Your loved one’s doctor can talk through these options for you and help you understand which will provide the best care. If you do need hospice care, your doctor can also recommend a agency in Mesa or the surrounding area that offers the right care for your loved one.
Americare Hospice and Palliative Care provides 24 hour nursing visits in the home in Mesa and the surrounding area. We are a Catholic organization serving patients of all faiths, and we are dedicated to making your loved ones final days as comfortable as possible. We provide compassionate care to make this difficult time easier on our patients and their loved ones. Contact us today to learn more about our dedicated agency or to discuss options for in-home hospice care in Mesa and beyond.
1212 N. Spencer St., Suite #2
Mesa, Arizona 85203
Office: (480) 726-7773
Fax: (480) 726-7790