Working against cancer is truly an international job. That sounds a lot worse than it really is. Social media and technology has made it very easy to physically share and communicate, but of course there has to be a will, which I don’t see too much of generally. This is because everyone is worried about their share of the ‘cancer cash’
Personally I love sharing ideas, and thankfully there are others out there that feel the same. My work is now truly international, not only online, but physically too. Speaking in many incredible countries with great audiences. So many of the issues are the same of course, but with regional peculiarities, and most of us are waking up to that fact.
This week I am sharing a piece from my friends at Omni Care Hospice in the US. Also, looking through my previous posts I don’t think I have talked about hospice care. I have a lot of personal experience of the incredible work that hospices do and I can see a lot of similarities in whichever side of the pond we are from!
Your Doctor Has Recommended Hospice. Now What? How do you go about finding and choosing a hospice, and how do you prepare your home? Finding a hospice in your area may seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, there are many resources one can use:
● Your doctors and nurses.
● The Internet
● Word of mouth
Finding the hospices in your area is the easier task. The more in depth task is going to be choosing one.
It can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you go into it prepared with certain things in mind:
● Medicare/medicaid certification, national organization accreditation, and state/federal oversight. What ways is the hospice you’re looking at being held accountable for quality
● Staff certifications and training, volunteers, and screening. What kind of specialized training and background checks are there
● Crisis control, and the crisis team. Who is on-call and what kind of emergency care is provided
Always remember: if it’s important to you…it’s important. Period. As a human being that needs care, you have a right to pursue knowledge about your care. Never be afraid to ask questions.
Preparing: There are two main things to keep in mind when preparing your home for care:
● Accessibility: You and your caregiver both need to be able to move freely around your home. Whether you need assistance or not, you need to have room to complete your normal living routine.This may require making changes to living arrangements.
● Comfort: No matter what, your home is still your home. Even if changes have to be made, this should never be forgotten. There needs to be a balance of keeping your home environment in tact despite the fact that hospice services are being received.
These may not seem like much, but in the end finding the balance between them is imperative.“If it’s important to you…it’s important. Period. Managing Expectations of a Cancer Patient in Hospice One of the most important things you need to do as a patient receiving end-of-life care is to manage your expectations. To give an idea of how to do that, let’s discuss what hospice is and is not for:
● What hospice is for: Emotional support and maximization of quality of life of a patient who has been given six months or less to live. Pain and symptom management. Support for the patient’s loved ones. Providing grief support for the patient’s family, up to a year after their loved one’s death
● What hospice is not for: Providing care to a terminally ill patient who is still going through treatment to be cured. Speeding up the dying process. Taking this into consideration, someone in hospice care must manage their expectations by being honest with themselves and working to understand their prognosis. Knowing various outcomes and a hospice’s role in them, and how to prepare can also help:
● Moving to a nursing home: Sometimes if there is a decline in health, a home environment may not suit one’s health care needs. When choosing a home or facility, finding one that will work with the hospice you’re already working with is imperative.
● Improvement in health: It is also possible that one’s health may improve especially with quality hospice care. However if a terminal diagnosis extends beyond six months, hospices are required to discharge their client.
● Death: The most unfortunate outcome, however the most expected with hospice care. This is what a hospice is mainly preparing a patient and their loved ones for. Hospice care covers both the time leading up to a patient’s passing, and a year after to assist the family with the grieving process.
Realistically, cancer isn’t something anyone wants to talk about. A terminal diagnosis makes everything more devastating. Hospices are meant to help a patient and their family come to terms with this. Hospice care is in place to make hard transition happen as smoothly as possible, with a focus on quality of life in a difficult time. It’s important to find one that suits all of your needs, so that you get the emotional care you require. Time is precious, and you want every last bit of it to be put in the hands of someone with your best interest in mind.
Omni Care Hospice is a provider of compassionate, quality home hospice care in Las Vegas that meets the needs of people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
I would like to thank Christina and her team for sharing this information with us. Please feel free to share below your own ideas/experience of hospice care.