How Hospice Care Affects a Patient’s Mental Health
Does Palliative Care Provide Emotional Support For The Patient?
When it comes to healthcare, mental health is an overlooked component that is equally important to physical health. Unfortunately, many people don’t get the help they need to support their mental health. Poor mental health can create many additional challenges to a person’s life and complicate their medical conditions, especially when the patient is in hospice or palliative care. In these situations, special care must be provided so that the patient gets the mental health support they need during their time in Mesa hospice and palliative care.
What Happens When Mental Illness is Left Untreated?
For a healthy person, lack of care for mental health issues creates a ripple effect of problems in all areas of their life. This can include:
- Conflict in family relationships and friendships
- Social isolation and difficulty participating in activities
- Decreased enjoyment of life
- Abuse of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs
- Unwanted weight loss or gain
- Difficulty thriving in work or school
- Financial and legal challenges
- Treats or actuation of self-harm and/or harm to others
- Physical health complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure, weakened immune system, frequent colds and viruses, asthma, gastronomical issues, and more.
While these problems can complicate life for anyone, they can be especially challenging for the patient in Mesa hospice.
Managing Mental Health Challenges in Hospice Care
Supporting a patient through mental health diagnoses can one of the most challenging aspects of hospice care.
In an ideal situation, a hospice patient who is diagnosed with a mental health issue will already be receiving good treatment from their doctor and medical care team. When this is the case, the patient can continue with that treatment while they receive Mesa in home hospice care. As an example, a patient taking antidepressants will have that medication continued in their hospice care plan.
Unfortunately, a more common situation is that patients are not receiving effective or adequate treatment for their mental health needs. This can add new challenges to their hospice care plan. Patients who have unmanaged mental health conditions often cannot commit to their goals of care. They may struggle to make decisions and repeatedly change their mind about their treatment, revoking and re-entering hospice care multiple times. While a patient has the right to make decisions about their health care, frequent changes can lead to poor symptom and pain management, making their terminal illness even more stressful.
Other patients develop mental health difficulties after entering hospice care, as the reality of dying and the ramifications of their terminal illness begin to feel more real. In these situations, medications can be helpful, along with therapy, spiritual care, and many other treatment options.
Hospice Care Meets People Where They Are
One of the principles of compassionate healthcare is meeting people wherever they are. Especially in Mesa Catholic hospice care, this means seeing them as a person first and a patient second. It means respecting their choices and circumstances, and working with them according to their physical, mental, and emotional capabilities – and limitations.
Hospice care works with people of all shapes and sizes, including different cultural traditions, different socio-economic situations, differing family dynamics and communication styles, and a wide variety of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges. Hospice health care providers support a patient through their unique circumstances, not in spite of them.
When it comes to mental health care in Mesa hospice and palliative care, the care team must first identify whether an issue is really a mental health issue, a symptom of their physical illness, or the side effect of a medication. This helps a care team determine what type of treatments or support may be most effective. A patient with a mental health condition may benefit from meditation, medications, massage, nutrition, counseling, music therapy, and many other treatments. Their hospice care team can put together a care plan and help provide resources. When mental health needs are more severe, a referral to a geropsychologist, a psychologist who is trained to support older adults and their families, can improve the patient’s quality of life.
Find Compassionate Hospice Care in Mesa
Hospice care is not one size fits all. That’s why you want your family member to receive care from a skilled team who will tailor a plan to meet your loved one’s individual needs. Americare Hospice & Palliative Care is a community of dedicated healthcare workers who take a team approach to hospice care. As Mesa’s only Catholic hospice, we are ready to support your loved one and family with in-home care, inpatient care, bereavement services, and more. For more information, call American Hospice & Palliative Care today.
Office: (480) 726-7773
Fax: (480) 726-7790