What is Hospice Care?

If you are a caregiver to an older adult with a terminal illness, doctors may have suggested they will eventually benefit from hospice care. For many caregivers, hospice care is a new term that they are unclear about. They may not know what it entails and when it’s appropriate. Understanding hospice care can help you to better understand when your older family member is ready for it and what to expect.

Hospice Care Defined

Hospice care is a type of care that is available to older adults when they are near the end of their life. In the progression of a terminal illness, there comes a time when the treatments are no longer working, and quality of life becomes more important than a cure. That’s when doctors might suggest the older adult and their family caregivers consider hospice care. Doctors usually refer patients to hospice care when they are expected live 6 months or less.

Hospice care can take place in the older adult’s home or in a hospice facility. It may even be offered in the hospital or in a nursing home. The focus of hospice care is on comfort and support and not on treatment of the disease. In fact, curative efforts are halted when the older adult enters hospice care.

Older adults in hospice care receive care measures that aim at reducing uncomfortable symptoms, including pain relief. They also work with professionals who offer support in other areas of life, including social workers, counselors, and spiritual care. In addition to supporting the older adult, hospice care offers support to family caregivers and other members of the family, including grief counseling after the senior’s death.

Is Hospice Care Compatible with Home Care?

If your aging relative is living at home while receiving hospice care, they may still benefit from home care. The burden of care when the end of life is near is often greater and too much for family caregivers to handle on their own. Hospice care does not offer non-medical care in the way of day-to-day supervision or assistance.

Home care can still come to your aging relative’s house to help them with things like making meals and keeping the house clean. They can also assist with bathing, toileting, and basic hygiene and grooming tasks. They can also give family caregivers the break they need from the demands of caring for an older adult with a terminal illness.

Sources
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/hospice-care#1
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-palliative-care-and-hospice-care
https://hospicefoundation.org/Hospice-Care/Hospice-Services

IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN AUBURN, CA, FOR AN AGING LOVED ONE, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT PIC COMFORT CARE TODAY. CALL (530) 885-9948.

Shaun Clinkinbeard
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