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Hospice Home Care: What To Expect

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The sounds of hospital monitors are all too familiar to many patients who come to Envision Hospice, and they’re tired of them. We understand. Staying at a hospital is by no means a comfortable experience. There’s the stiff bed. The unfamiliar people. The sounds of coughing, drones of machines, and disrupted sleep. Our patients often report feeling pain, discomfort, or loneliness when they receive medical interventions at the hospital. Weary of constant trips to and from the hospital, many people receiving end-of-life care wish they could stay home with their families. That’s commonly why they turn to hospice home care. 

Loved ones may not know what to expect with hospice home care, and many, understandably, feel scared or uncomfortable with the idea. We know that our patient’s loved ones want the best for them. Family members come to us with caring concern for the patient. We welcome these questions and concerns because we know that as a team, we can help each patient have the best plan of care for them. Part of this process involves informing our families about what to expect.

So, what is it really like to be a hospice home care patient? 

Hospice home care is not resigning to a death bed. 

We’ve all seen it on TV — an elderly patient lies, barely conscious, in their bedroom as their family cries over them. While many families have seen this portrayed on television, this is a myth about hospice home care. 

Some refer to hospice home care using phrases like, “wasting away” or “waiting to die.” These terms certainly paint a bleak picture of this type of care. They conjure up images of illness, pain, and idle time. With modern hospice home care, this is certainly not the case!

Hospice home care is comfort and company.

When patients are wondering what to expect with hospice home care, they are often pleasantly surprised. Given that this type of care is provided in the comfort of their home, they commonly find themselves feeling more peace and joy. Whether they receive care in their own home or in the home of a family member, the patient is able to relax and spend time with their loved ones instead of being occasionally visited in a sterile hospital room. 

Grandma with computer illustration

Patients may choose to rest and relax in a bed of their choosing, or their team may bring a bed that can raise and lower, similar to a hospital bed. Their comfort is closely monitored by the care team in the form of medications, personal connection, and visitors. Instead of having set rules for visitors, the patient may have as many or as few visitors as they want, when they want. These visitors will include Envision Hospice team members. These visitors may be:

  • Nurses — Wondering what to expect with hospice home care nursing? Your loved one’s nurse may come as often as daily, or once a week. This depends on their specific needs and wishes. The patient does not have to be in pain or discomfort for the nurse to come visit. On such visits, the nurse will ensure they are comfortable and their pain levels are as low as possible. Our caring team of nurses are wonderful people to talk to, and they enjoy getting to know the patients in their care.
  • Spiritual Care Coordinators — Patients looking to make peace with something in their lives or to grow closer to God may wish to receive spiritual care. Your loved one may choose to be visited by one of the ministers on our team. Our team can also coordinate visits from the religious organization of the patient’s choosing. At a home visit, the minister will listen and provide guidance when it is wanted and may pray with them. They may also help them to make peace in certain areas of their lives.
  • Home Health Aides — These care providers can assist with functions like bathing, changing, and moving the patient. They may also support a family in learning how to carry out these tasks for their loved one. Knowing what to expect with hospice home care for a loved one can help a family cope with this big change, and both home health aides and social workers can assist with this.
  • Social Workers — Our team of social workers are caring, understanding people. Their job often involves providing emotional support to the patient and families. If your loved one is concerned about how the family will cope when they have passed away, the social worker can help put their mind at ease. With careful planning, they can set their focus on making memories with family instead of their anxiety.

Hospice home care is not giving up.

Now we’ve learned how hospice home care is designed to make patients feel comfortable and in good company. However, many people have been taught the misconception that end-of-life care is simply giving up. After all, isn’t the patient deciding against medical intervention?

It can be hard to talk about your loved one’s choice to receive comfort care instead of medical intervention at a hospital. But, many families find themselves relieved at the many benefits offered to their loved one and their family through hospice care. 

Hospice home care is forward-thinking.

Aside from the comfort, company, and freedom of choices offered through hospice home care, many benefits are offered to assist with planning for the future. Let’s talk about what to expect with hospice home care in terms of forward-thinking.

Elderly married couple sitting at the table making calculations

Our team is ready to help families gather and prepare end-of-life documents and funeral arrangements. Planning for the future can help patients to feel at ease and be able to relax during this time. Additionally, by crafting a custom plan of care for each patient, they can look forward to the experience of care at home and family time. Instead of being stationary in a stuffy bedroom, your loved one may choose to have their bed in a place that comforts them like a sunroom or living room. Emotional support is readily available for any family members who need it. 

Receiving hospice care expands the patient’s community and village of caregivers. Instead of a dead-end, this option provides many opportunities for social engagements and personal growth. With the main goal being the patient’s comfort and happiness, hospice care truly puts their needs first to allow for a positive end-of-life experience. Want to learn more about Envision Hospice and what your loved one’s plan of care might look like? Please feel free to contact us here.

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