WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CAN HURT YOU; what to expect from Hospice | downtown-houston

Posted on December 20, 2012


BrightStar supplements Hospice

The word “hospice” comes from the Latin word hospes: meaning to host a guest or stranger.  The modern hospice movement traces back to 1967 when Dame Cicely Saunders started St Christopher’s Hospice in England.

We don’t like to dwell on the fact that we are all mortal but, in fact, we and our loved ones all come to a time when the end of this life becomes more defined; this is where hospice comes into the picture.  Hospice care allows terminally ill individuals to be as comfortable as possible, usually in their own homes, in the final days, weeks or months of life. The purpose of hospice care is not to extend or shorten the life of the patient but to maximize the pleasure and comfort the individual can experience as their body completes its natural processes.

The implementation of hospice in the United States has advantages and disadvantages.  We will leave the advantages for another time, all you need to do to discover them is ask someone who has used hospice services for a loved one.  The disadvantages come not in the care but in the limitations of hospice organizations to provide all of the care that can be needed by the family or patient.  There are some key misunderstandings that many people have about what hospice can provide and the role of the family in the process.  Each situation is unique and this is simply a discussion of general facts, you need to do your own research.

What you need to know

While hospice provides you with the equipment necessary to provide full hospice care to the terminally ill individual they are limited in the actual time they can devote to caring for the individual.  The responsibility of caring for the sick individual generally falls on a loved one.  Hospice has a very short period of time they can have someone on site 24×7 to help the family and normally they will have someone come in as needed to check on the individual, this can be daily or every few days.

BrightStar provides caregivers and nurses to provide respite care and assistance with tasks that require skilled care for families that are caring for hospice patients. Family members who administer hospice care on their own, with no respite care, can experience a lot of fatigue and stress associated with the care. Taking on the tasks of feeding, bathing and checking up on an individual in hospice care can be time of joy and love but it is a full-time job and the emotions that come with hospice care can be extreme.  If you don’t arrange for respite care you will find  yourself drained as there is no time off,  no holidays or weekends, and care will continue until the individual passes.

There is also stress and strain on existing relationships.  When someone goes into hospice care, they must realize that the individual is going to die, usually within a short period of time. Watching as this loved one dies can be emotionally draining. Caregivers may also be forced to eliminate other activities from their routine schedule, which can be demoralizing and stressful.

Know what the future holds so you are informed.  Talk to doctors, BrightStar or another home health company, hospice nurses, others that have been through the hospice experience.  Know what the costs and commitments are so you can make decisions quickly and not be trying to research and find solutions when your attention should be elsewhere.

For additional information on BrightStar services call  832-730-1255 FREE  .

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