TAKING CARE: Family’s Caregiver Guide to Hospice Care

TAKING CARE: Family’s Caregiver Guide to Hospice Care

Posted on January 22, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Blog, Caregiver Education, Education, Geriatric Care Management, Hospice & Palliative Care, Long Term Care Information

If you have been a family caregiver for a while, you probably have been through a lot of transitions. Maybe your family member was in and out of the hospital several times. Perhaps he or she spent a few weeks in a rehabilitation unit or received home care services. Or perhaps he or she is now a resident in a long-term care facility. In each of these transitions, you had to meet new health care professionals, learn more about your family member’s health, and adjust to new caregiving tasks and routines.

Now you might be coming to a new transition. Maybe your family member’s health is getting worse. Perhaps the treatments intended to prolong his or her life are not working or are causing a lot of pain and suffering. You may have a lot of questions and concerns about what to do.

You may be asking, when should we start thinking about hospice care? An optimal time to start thinking about hospice is when there are no more treatment options to cure your family member’s disease. With hospice, the focus is on comfort and quality of life. Hospice may be the best option when you and your family member decide that treatment is not worth its side effects, pain, and suffering.

It helps to make the choice for hospice sooner rather than later. Many people delay since it marks a turning point in your family member’s care. Some patients and caregivers fear that choosing hospice means that nothing more can be done. But this is not the case. In fact, hospice patients often receive a lot of services to help improve their quality of life.

Hospice affects the caregiver because it is different from other types of care. You may have more help than you are used to and hospice can alleviate certain caregiving tasks, giving you more time for yourself.

Hospice teams will recognize you as the primary caregiver for the person who is ill and will teach you and others how to care for your family member at home. You may have to learn new tasks and accept a plan of care that is different from before.

Hospice provides a level of care that is difficult to obtain in other settings at a time when your family member needs special care. Think about your family member’s values, your own abilities, and what hospice provides. When you choose hospice, you will be better prepared for this important transition.

To learn more about the benefits of hospice care for both caregiver and loved one, please contact the VNA at 772 202-8570 or visit www.vnatc.com.

Sarah Mondano is the Vice President of Business Development and Sales for the VNA of the Treasure Coast and Nightingale Private Duty Nursing, Vero Beach-based non-profit organizations providing home healthcare, hospice care, homemaker services, companions, and transportation. To contact Sarah with your questions, feedback, or suggestions about healthcare topics you’d like to learn more about, please call 772 202-8570.

By:  Sarah Mondano — Original post:  TCPalm.com

This story is contributed by a member of the Treasure Coast community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with TCPalm.com