Hospice Care – What is It?

Some of the best care-giving of my life has been in the context of hospice. When an older person is dying, it’s wonderful for the family to have the help, support, and kind expertise and nurturing of hospice.

Hospice is the service of giving total support, medical comfort, skilled nurses, aides and home health workers, social workers, chaplains and doctors to help the dying to live as fully and richly as possible in the journey of dying. Sometimes hospice is an actual building into which people move, but most often hospice brings their services into the home. They also, at the request of a family, will give their care to people in care homes.

How sad it is then when families are afraid or reluctant to consider hospice. It means they turn away the help of the best-qualified people to walk with through the dying time of a family member. Hospice help transforms a difficult time into a season which can be beautiful, dignified, pain-free and not frightening.

I’m always so sorry when a family won’t allow hospice. Even sadder when an elderly husband or wife won’t accept that help for a dying spouse.That almost guarantees unnecessary pain to the one they care for. It denies comfort to everyone.

Five Great Things Hospice Can Do:

1. Assure pain control that works effectively without over-drugging the dying person;
2. Guides and helps everyone to know what is going on. Supports open communication among family members;
3. Gives aid and support to everyone, not just the dying;
4. Provides home help, aides for bathing and comfort care, RN expertise on call 24 hours and chaplains for
spiritual support;
5. Brings the journey of dying back into its importance and unifying power to draw together all those who have loved this family member.

That does not stop when the person dies. Hospice continues to provide emotional comfort for the living. Often, hospice will have on-going grief support groups to help family members.

I have seen plenty of families struggle about what to do when someone is dying. hospice care in long beach  Often, they don’t want to call in hospice because they’re afraid to mention dying to the dying person. As if saying the word death would kill their family member.

The reality is so different. A dying person can be one of the loneliest people in the whole world if no-one will let them talk about what is coming. The dying usually know they are dying.

They would often like others to be willing to admit it. Then everyone can get on with the real work. The things to be said. Practical stuff. Emotional stuff. Loving. Forgiving. Letting go of regrets or fears. It is in its way one of the most glorious things a family can ever do, to be together for the journey of the dying. It’s not at all as scary as people sometimes think.

In fact, with the help of hospice, it can even work to bring home someone who might have already been in institutional care for some time. If everyone wants that.