At the end of life, it can be hard to make the decision to choose hospice care. Some people feel as though admitting it's time for hospice means that they are giving up. Others believe they have enough time left, or they just aren't ready to receive hospice level services. In the majority of hospice cases, people begin receiving hospice services much later than they should. With such an important resource available to people who have a terminal illness and need comfort,it's valuable to learn how hospice helps provide comfort and dignity while transitioning towards the end of life.
Pain Management Beyond Traditional Care
Hospice level pain medication is at higher doses than what a primary care physician is going to subscribe. When pain management is a big factor at the end of life, hospice steps in and provides the medication necessary. Whether the patient is at home, or is in a nursing facility, hospice makes sure that pain medication is available at all times. For caregivers in the home, any time the patient is in pain, they have a resource to call. A hospice nurse can get medication sent to the home within hours, keeping the patient comfortable and out of pain.
Negotiating Tough Choices
For people who want to die with dignity in the home, hospice offers resources for the individual and their caregivers. Hospice is able to provide comfort items such as a recliner, or hospital bed. They can be reached 24 hours a day to answer questions. During times of distress, a hospice nurse or social worker will come to visit and assess the situation. While hospice does not provide extensive hours of personal care, at the end of life they can help facilitate caregivers.
Hospice Is Choosing Comfort and Dignity
There is nothing dignified about being in serious pain and needing to go to the emergency room for pain management. For terminally ill patients, pain should not have to be managed at the emergency room. For hospice patients, this is no longer necessary. Pain and anxiety are managed through nursing home visits. Hospice makes sure that caregivers have what they need to keep pain and anxiety symptoms under control.
Hospice provides patients and their caregivers with the resources they need to stay comfortable while managing a terminal illness. Many patients wait too long to go on hospice, spending time and energy in hospital emergency rooms for pain management instead. Hospice means choosing comfort over pain, and deciding to die with dignity instead.