An interdisciplinary health care team manages hospice care. This means that many interacting disciplines work together to care for the patient. Doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy, therapists, and trained volunteers care for you. Each of these people offers support based on their special areas of expertise. Together, they give you and your loved ones complete comfort and palliative care aimed at relieving symptoms and giving social, emotional, and spiritual support.
Pain and Symptom Management
The goal of pain and symptom control is to help you be comfortable while allowing you to stay in control of and enjoy your life. This means that side effects are managed to make sure that you are as free of pain and symptoms as possible, yet still alert enough to enjoy the people around you and make important decisions.
Hospice care also tends to your spiritual needs.
Since people differ in their spiritual needs and religious beliefs, spiritual care is set up to meet your specific needs. It may include helping you to look at what death means to you, helping you say good-bye, or helping with a certain religious ceremony or ritual.
Home Care and Inpatient Care
Although hospice care can be centered in the home, you may need to be admitted to a hospital, extended- care facility, or a hospice inpatient facility. Hospice can arrange for inpatient care and will stay involved in your care and with your family. You can go back to in-home care when you and your family are ready.
While you are in hospice, your family and caregivers may need some time away. Hospice service may offer them a break through respite care, which is often offered in up to 5-day periods. During this time you will be cared for either in the hospice facility or in beds that are set aside for this in nursing homes or hospitals. Families can plan a mini-vacation, go to special events, or simply get much-needed rest at home while you are cared for in an inpatient setting.
Through regularly scheduled family conferences, often led by the hospice nurse or social worker, family members can stay informed about your condition and what to expect. Family conferences also give you all a chance to share feelings, talk about expectations, and learn about death and the process of dying. Family members can find great support and stress relief through family conferences. Conferences may also be done informally on a daily basis as the nurse or nursing assistant talks with you and your caregivers during their routine visits.
Death can be a painful and permanent loss experience, and one of the hardest from which to recover. Death takes away, but facing it and grieving can result in peace, new strengths and purpose. Grief is a normal response to loss. Often the most painful loss is the death of a person you love, whether from a long illness or from an accident or an act of violence.
Bereavement is the period after a loss during which grief is experienced and mourning occurs. The time spent in a period of bereavement depends on how attached the person was to the person who died, and how much time was spent anticipating the loss.
Mourning is the process by which people adapt to a loss. Mourning is also influenced by cultural customs, rituals and society’s rules for coping with the loss.
Our grief and bereavement services at Haven Hospice can help you understand the grief you and others in your family may feel after a death, whether sudden or anticipated.
Hospice volunteers play an important role in planning and giving hospice care in the United States. Volunteers may be health professionals or lay people who provide services that range from patient companionship to working in the hospice office or creating personal gifts for patients.
Hospice care staff members are kind and caring.
They communicate well, are good listeners, and are interested in working with families who are coping with a life-threatening illness. They are specially trained in the unique issues surrounding death and dying.
Coordination of Care
The interdisciplinary team coordinates and supervises all care 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. This team is responsible for making sure that all involved services share information. This may include the inpatient facility, the home care agency, the doctor, and other community professionals, such as pharmacists, clergy, and funeral directors. You and your caregivers are encouraged to contact your hospice team if you are having a problem, any time of the day or night. There is always someone on call to help you with whatever may arise. Hospice care assures you and your family that you are not alone and help can be reached at any time.