If a loved one has been recommended for palliative care or hospice care by their doctor, it is likely that they will be moving into the later stages of an illness. This means that they need specialized treatment to help them be as comfortable as possible during this time.
It can be very difficult to come to terms with the fact that your loved one is nearing the end of their life. However, by understanding the philosophy of palliative care, you will be able to gain comfort in the knowledge that they will be cared for and comforted in the best possible way.
What is palliative care?
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment defines palliative care as a focus on providing patients with "relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of serious illness". In this way, the primary focus of palliative care is on pain management and comfort. This involves a team of palliative caregivers constantly assessing the patient's situation and doing everything they can to alleviate any unpleasant symptoms experienced by the patient. Palliative care often takes place in a hospice.
What are the benefits of a hospice?
Many people experiencing terminal illnesses decide that they would like to enter a hospice when they are no longer responding to treatment. Hospices provide support in countless forms, both to the patient and to their loved ones. This means that they provide services that address emotional and psychological issues as well as having nurses and physicians available for medical care. Hospices can also aid with administrative issues associated with the end of a person's life, and can provide bereavement counseling for family members.
How is a hospice paid for?
Private insurance will almost always cover hospice services. If you want to ensure that your loved one is able to benefit from hospice services, you should not let financial concerns be a barrier to this. Medicare and Medicaid is usually accepted as a form of complete coverage.
There are many important considerations to be made when a person is nearing the end of their life. It is important that you make sure that your loved one is able to gain medical services that will provide them with comfort and respite.