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The Hospice Definition include professional nursing care,personal assistance with activities of daily living, various forms of rehabilitation therapy, dietary counseling,psychological and spiritual counseling for both patient and family, volunteer services, respite care, provision of medical drugs and devices necessary for palliative care, and family bereavement services following the patient’s death. Hospice care is provided by an interdisciplinary care team comprised of nurses, social workers,pastoral counselors, nursing assistants, and other health professionals under the management of a physician, who may be the patient’s own primary care physician or may be affiliated directly with the hospice program. Caring for the dying during hospice is a complex social enterprise that must involve the families of the dying, religious organizations, the health care system, and the community at large,from the very local to the national level.
Hospice Definition of Needs for the Patient
The Hospice definition for the specific needs of dying persons to which care must respond can be grouped under the headings of physical, emotional, and social well being. Within each category, the health care system plays an important role in meeting these needs but is never the only actor and not always even the chief actor. Physical needs include a safe, clean, and comfortable place for dying; control of pain and symptoms; appropriate food and nutrition; personal care (aid with bathing, feeding, dressing, and other activities of daily living); information about how best to manage the physical condition of the dying person;and information about the changes in physical condition to be expected over time. Hospice emotional needs include respect for the dying person’s dignity as a human being; respect for the dying person’s wishes, to the extent possible; information about the emotional changes to expect; counseling to help the patient come to terms with what is happening; assistance with advance planning for death; and attending to spiritual concerns. Hospice Social needs include companionship;maintenance of social functioning, to the extent possible; assistance in “telling one’s life story” to others; and help in resolving relationships and taking care of other “unfinished business.”
Responding to these hospice needs requires access to a complex continuum of care. As a group, people who are dying make use of virtually the entire array of health care goods and services, including acute care, long-term care, mental health care, and health education. Managing pain and other distressing symptoms may require sophisticated treatment regimens and technologies, ranging from carefully tailored drug regimens to palliative radiation and surgery to mechanical ventilation. Feeding and hydration issues may be addressed by special diets or supportive counseling when patients stop eating. Careful nursing care is required, including bathing, feeding, skin care, and other personal care activities that make a great difference to a sick person’s comfort. Health education is necessary to provide information about the physical and emotional changes to expect and to explain what the patient and family can do about them. Mental health services may also be needed, including counseling and the treatment of depression. Hospice Patients’ symptoms vary tremendously, and with them the appropriate pattern of care.
Hospice Definition of Needs for Family and Caregivers Involved
Family members themselves also need care and support from the health care system, religious organizations, and the community. Family
members are usually the front line providers of daily care, working in tandem with professional health care providers. To perform their hospice caregiving role well, they need information and training. At the same time, they are themselves patients of the health care system. They need care to prevent and, if necessary, to treat the physical and mental health problems that can be associated with caregiving and bereavement. Again, there is no bright line separating care for family members and care for the dying themselves; their well being is profoundly interdependent. What hospice care offers family members includes: information about how to provide care to the dying patient;caregiver support, emotional support,and practical assistance; caregiver respite; help with preparation and advance planning for death; resolution of relationships; and grief counseling
Hospice Care can be a very daunting and emotional experience to go through but with help from a home care agency you will have a peace of mind and can focus more on caring for your loved one instead of meal preparations, bathing, house keeping, and the other tasks that can be performed by home care agencies.