Caring at home for a parent with a terminal disease is always an overwhelming undertaking. If your parent has made the tough decision to stop curative treatment and allow their disease process to continue on its natural course, then you should speak to your parent's doctor about a referral to a local hospice family care program.
Here is some information that explains how hospice care can help your parent and your entire family at this tough time in your lives:
Hospice Home Health Nursing
When your parent is being monitored through a hospice family care program, a hospice home health nurse will regularly visit your home. While they are visiting, they will draw any blood needed so that you do not have to transport your parent to the doctor's office or laboratory as often. They will also be reachable around-the-clock in the case of a medical situation or for any other needs you might have.
Hospice nurses have direct contact avenues with the physicians who work with their program. This means that if you need a prescription they can easily take care of it for you, without you having to call a doctor's office and wait for a response.
Hospice Social Work
One of the biggest advantages of hospice family care programs is that they give you access to a licensed social worker who spends all of their time working with patients and families in your same situation. This experience makes them a life-saver when you have a need.
For example, if you need to rent a lift and a hospital bed, the hospice social worker will know exactly who to call. If you need a religious visit for your parent, your hospice social worker can handle that for you as well.
Hospice social workers are not only concerned with the needs of the patient, but those of the caregiver as well. A social worker will likely make home visits on a regular basis and help you with any needs you might have. Should you become overwhelmed, your social worker has resources to find you some in-home help of many types.
Hospice Palliative Care
One of the main purposes of hospice family care programs is to provide palliative care. Palliative care includes:
- pain control
- disease symptom control
In addition, hospice provided palliative care can also include dietary help, physical therapy, and therapeutic massage.
Where internal medicine doctors are often hesitant to prescribe narcotic pain medications or sedatives to terminally ill patients, hospice physicians typically have a different position. Once enrolled in a hospice program, your parent will have a much easier time obtaining the therapies and medications needed to keep them as comfortable as possible.
Stopping curative treatment and changing to hospice family care is a decision that has many benefits for both life-limited patients and their caregivers. If you would like to know more about the hospice service programs available in your city or town, then you should speak with your parent's doctor for a referral.Share