Conversations regarding terminal health conditions are varied and involve numerous different courses of action, different living options and treatment plans, but by and large, regardless of the details, these conversations are never easy to have. Because the outcome of any terminal situation is the passing of a loved one, many people feel like their options for end of life care are futile or, they cling to a hopeful resolve that suggests the prospect of recovery.
In today’s current state of healthcare, one of the emergent forerunners in the top echelon of end of life care is hospice palliative care. Rather than remain hooked up to life support equipment, living out the remainder of their days in agony or surrendering to an eventuality that leaves them feeling powerless, more Americans are beginning to have conversations with their loved ones and their physicians regarding hospice care.
Why are more people choosing hospice care? Simply stated, it creates a higher quality of life for the patient that extends through their final days. Take a look at a few of the distinctions that have made hospice care a more viable option for terminal patients versus alternative end of life care options:
- Pain management: For illnesses and terminal conditions that carry a degree of pain, pain management is a tremendous factor in the choice to opt for hospice care. In a palliative care setting pain management is taken up in a more lenient capacity, since there is no risk of addiction or medication abuse—therefore, pain medications can be dispensed more liberally to ease pain completely, ensuring a more comfortable quality of life and eventual passing.
- Comforting setting: As opposed to clinically managed end of life scenarios, hospice care frequently takes place in a home-like environment, which means more comforts and fewer uncomfortable stimuli in the environment. Rather than remain in a hospital bed, confined to a hospital room filled with technical equipment, terminal patients can live in the comforts of their personal space, with comfortable surroundings and more accessibility. This environment also helps a terminal patient to pass with dignity and can offer a dignified prospect to families as well.
- Grief counseling and care: Preparing and coping with death is never easy, however in a hospice environment there’s an emphasis placed on ensuring that the patient and their loved ones are given the attention and resources they need to understand and accept the eventuality they’re presented with. Grief counseling and support is an integral facet in the hospice environment and remains a core focus of the individuals administering care.
- Manageable cost: With the tremendous cost of healthcare in America, more and more people—even those with exceptional insurance coverage—are seeking ways to mitigate the cost of coping with a terminal illness. Palliative care is one of the most cost-effective options, especially since many hospice programs are a Medicare benefit, meaning medications, medical supplies and medical equipment are of no cost to the patient or, at worst, a minimal cost.
These major benefits are the foremost reason for the emergence of hospice as a leading form of end of life care, however they’re by far not the only factors that make it a desirable option for terminal patients and their loved ones. To learn the facts about hospice care or to speak to a hospice professional, don’t hesitate to contact Suncrest today at 515-327-6026.