When Is the Best Time to Research Hospice?
The best time to begin hospice research is when the illness is diagnosed as terminal. Asking questions and reading as much as possible on the topic will help with the process, because information is powerful. The topic is naturally difficult to discuss, but it is best for everyone to gain knowledge and openly discuss the process. When the time for hospice is necessary, the stress will be reduced because everyone will expect the change and have time to deal with it.
How Does it Begin?
Hospice care will usually begin as a referral from the patient’s doctor. After the referral, the hospice representative will try to visit the family within 48 hours of the request. The meeting will be coordinated with the needs of the family and patient. Hospice care will typically begin within a day or so of the initial appointment. However, urgent situations bring hospice care faster.
Is it Exclusive?
Typically, the hospice patient is not the only patient with which the team deals, but the team does devote themselves to a dedicated care plan. The team consists of a hospice volunteer, social worker, registered nurse, chaplain, and home health aide. This professional team creates a care plan for each patient and family that is followed to ensure each patient gets the best care possible. The team could be providing care to a dozen different families, however, this does not mean that access to professional care is delayed or denied. A home health aide will typically visit more often if necessary, but all visits are based on the patient and family needs.
Is After Hour Care Possible?
There is an ‘on-call’ option after the administrative office has closed. Most hospice programs will have nurses on call to respond to emergency calls, while some programs include clergy and social workers for the same purpose.
How Does Hospice Keep Patients Comfortable?
As illness progresses, many patients will have pain and other issues, so hospice staff will receive specific training to care for a range of emotional and physical symptoms. Keeping the patient pain-free and comfortable is the first goal of hospice, so many programs have methods to measure the pain level and the comfort of the patient. The staff will work with the patient to insure the most comfort, while working with the primary physician in pain medication management.
How Can I Know That the Hospice Care is Quality Care?
Many hospice agencies will use measuring checks and balances to make sure the care is of the highest quality. Additionally, many programs will conduct family satisfaction surveys to ensure the family is happy with the service. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization helps develop quality standards for hospice care as well.
The Vancouver Home Health Care Agency is happy to help with the best in-home hospice care.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.