Long-term and fatal illnesses affect not only the person who has them but also their whole family. Whether or not the sick person will get better, they still need special compassionate hospice care and attention. Most families don’t know how to care for seriously ill family members because they don’t have the training or knowledge to do so. When you hire nurses and other medical professionals to help, your loved one will get better care.
People are afraid of the term “hospice care” because they think it means several negative things. Hospice doesn’t speed up the dying process or put them to sleep with drugs. Instead, hospice care helps both the patient and their family feel better and have less pain. It’s more kind because the caregivers are trained to pay close attention to the needs of the patient at the end of their lives. That gives you time to spend together and the chance to make memories you’ll always remember. In this blog, we will review hospice care for those with an elderly parent in need.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is being chosen by more and more people at the end of their lives. Hospice care is for people who are sick and nearing the end of their lives. It focuses on their care, comfort, and quality of life. At some point, a serious illness may not be able to be cured, or the patient may decide not to go through certain treatments. Hospice is made for situations like this. When a patient starts hospice care, he or she knows that medical attempts to cure or slow the progress of his or her illness are not working.
When Should Someone Start Hospice Care?
Hospice care is given to people who have a terminal illness and whose doctor thinks they have less than six months to live if the illness goes away on its own. A patient and their doctor need to talk about hospice care. People don’t always start hospice care early enough to get all the help it can offer. Maybe they wait too long to start hospice care, and by the time they do, they are too close to dying. Or, some people don’t qualify for hospice care in time to get the most out of it. If you start hospice early, you may have months of good care and quality time with your loved ones.
How do I Talk to My Parents About This Service?
It’s important to have this talk about healthcare decisions in advance, long before a crisis happens. We also know that it’s hard for many families to start talking about it. Here’s how to start the conversation about hospice care:
- Decide who needs to be part of the conversation – Who was in charge of getting your loved one to a doctor? Do close friends need to be involved, or would it be better to keep the conversation between family members? These are some things you should think about
- Prepare with an Advance Directive – An advance directive is a legal document that gives written instructions about your loved one’s health care in case they can’t speak for themselves in the future. It’s important to have one so that their wishes or those of a loved one will be known before the disease gets worse. It’s often hard to have a full conversation when someone is sick, in pain, or on medication. Because of this, every family needs to know how important an advanced healthcare plan is
- Create a list of important questions to consider – Make a list of things you want to talk about with your family and care team before the meeting so you don’t forget anything. Also, it’s a good idea to write things down. During meetings, you often get a lot of information at once, so it helps to have something you can look back on. You should also see if there are brochures about hospice care for the end of life in your area for the family to review together
- Take advantage of resources available – It’s important to know that the people who work for your hospice care are ready and able to answer any questions. Hospice care facilities, like Hospice Care Options, have a lot of resources for patients and their families, like a team of experts who are both knowledgeable and caring
Providing Compassionate Hospice Care for Parents
Taking care of an elderly parent or loved one can seem like a big job, especially because many caregivers are thrown into their roles out of the blue. But caring for someone can also be very rewarding. Here are some tips that will help you stay positive and make everyone feel at ease.
- Act from love, not an obligation – When someone gives compassionate hospice care, they help another person. Caregivers often feel like they have to take care of someone because their parents took care of them, but giving care is a choice. Let go of your guilt, realize you’re not perfect and do your best. And if you get angry, give yourself a break
- Educate yourself about their health condition – This helps you understand what your loved one is doing and speak up for him or her. Attend appointments with your parent, do research online, and talk to their care manager
- Take time to listen – This will help you understand your loved one better. Think about recording their memories and keeping them safe. A scenic drive is another way to get outside and have a heart-to-heart talk, and don’t forget to laugh at a good joke or something funny together. Find the fun in caring for others
- Care for yourself, too! – Taking care of your health makes it easier for you to stay calm and kind with your parent. Slow down, take deep breaths, get a lot of rest, eat healthy foods, and give yourself time to relax and recharge. You have to take care of yourself first before you can help your loved one in a good way as a caregiver
- Honor your loved one’s spiritual needs – Having a connection to a higher power can be important for your loved one, and going to a weekly service can help them socialize
Do you have more questions about compassionate hospice care for your parent? Need more guidance for having “the talk” with them? Want to set up a meet and greet? Check out our contact page here, or give us a call at (800)563-8680.