Most of us, when faced with a terminal illness, want to die at home. And many of us would also say we want to care for our loved one at home in their final days. Although this is a comforting prospect for the person with the illness, many family members are not prepared for the difficult challenges of the caregiving. Enter hospice care which is covered by Medicare, MediCal, Veterans benefits, and private insurance plans. Hospice provides care for the terminally ill person who is expected to live six months or less, and support for caregivers. The goal is to focus on the care, comfort, and quality of life of your ill family member, rather than curing disease.
Most hospice care is provided at home, but can also be available at hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and dedicated hospice facilities. A family member is most often the primary caregiver.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a “hospice care team typically includes:
- A primary care doctor and a hospice doctor or medical director will oversee care.
- Nurses will come to your or your relative’s home or other setting to provide care. They are also responsible for coordination of the hospice care team.
- Home health aides can provide extra support for routine care, such as dressing, bathing and eating.
- Chaplains, priests, lay ministers or other spiritual counselors can provide spiritual care and guidance for the entire family.
- Social workers provide counseling and support. They can also provide referrals to other support systems.
- Pharmacists provide medication oversight and suggestions regarding the most effective ways to relieve symptoms.
- Trained volunteers offer a variety of services, including providing company or respite for caregivers and helping with transportation or other practical needs.
- Other professionals, such as speech, physical and occupational therapists can provide therapy, if needed.
- Trained bereavement counselors offer support and guidance after the death of a loved one in hospice.”
Even with all these team members, most of the direct care is still provided by the family member. Caregivers from home care agencies often provide extra support for families facing this difficult time. At AACE Home Care, Inc., this is a lot of what our compassionate caregivers do. Caring for your loved one is our honor and privilege.
For questions, reach out to Rosie Miller at AACE Home Care Inc. at 909-315-6397.