Updated: Nov 14, 2021
“Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much”
— Helen Keller.
Families often struggle with the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for a terminally ill patient. Family members may feel ‘sandwiched’ between caring for their parent and needing to care for their own children. It can be overwhelming!
Hospice offers assistance with all aspects of care for such patients. Within the hospice system is a strategic team that works to provide care at every level. Physicians are involved with initiating a plan of care and writing orders for therapeutics. They are symptom management specialists who collaborate with the nurses and the rest of the team to ensure proper delivery as well as palliation. They provide a link to your physician in the community while offering advice to the team.
Hospice has other team members who contribute to the welfare of the patient. There is a primary nurse who visits the patient regularly to provide guidance and education for the families so they can help provide the necessary care. Hospice also offers a home health aide who performs tasks such as bathing the patient and meeting their personal needs. A Social Worker is assigned to address resource needs such as community outreach and may help complete an Advance Directive. There are also Spiritual Counselors who offer emotional support, prayer, and non-denominational counseling, while respecting all faiths. Hospice has Bereavement Counselors for support with anticipated grief or the grief process after a loved one passes away.
Hospice also provides equipment and supplies as needed for care of the patient. After-hour care is provided for when a patient’s needs change. Complimentary services are also available. These include massage therapy, aroma therapy, music, and pet therapy. Some hospices offer volunteer services such as companionship and being actively present for the patient.
Hospice is a team effort to provide complete patient care. We work together for our patients and because no one should have to do this labor of love alone.