An Amazing Perspective on Hospice Care

What is Hospice?

Hospice, as a strictly clinical designation, means the patient has been given 6 months (or less) to live.

However, beyond purely clinical terms, none of us can predict the inevitability of any future outcome. Therefore, at our facilities (Regency Nursing Centers of New Jersey), we place a special focus on the power of choice and the preservation of life and the quality of life in every possible way. 

Hospice care is designed to be palliative – this means that its chief objective is to alleviate pain and provide comfort and serenity at the end of life.

Every life is unique and special; the end of life can be a time of profound awareness and contentment, or a time of intense fear and sadness. Sometimes, it is a combination of both.

The job of any hospice provider is to prepare and nurture the patient with ultimate love and dedication at this crucial time.

The actual care, involves a robust and interdisciplinary approach, including the promise of confidential comfort, care compassion and counseling.

You see, Hospice is not “a place,” but a philosophy of care.

This care may be provided in several different settings, depending upon the will of the patient:

  • In-home Care: Many patients desire to live at home and be cared for at home during their final months of life.
  • In-patient Care: If pain and symptoms cannot be managed at home, a patient may be admitted to an approved contracted nursing facility.

The "Heart" of Hospice Care

At its very core, Hospice is about respecting a person’s right of self determination. Every individual has a right to choose how they would like to spend the last chapter of their life.

The role of the Hospice provider is to help honor that choice by providing the requisite care to both the patient and the family, including:

  • The right to have their specific needs considered on an individual basis.
  • The right to maintain their dignity and sense of autonomy.
  • The right to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
  • The right to actively participate in decision making and care planning.
  • The right to remain in the location of their own choosing.

Post-Life Care and Services

Everyone experiences the loss of a loved one differently. Grieving is a process that can take time, and it is the job of the Hospice provider to navigate these vicissitudes together with the family.

The first step of the healing process is adjusting to the new reality. A good Hospice provider will have a specialized "Bereavement Program" which places emphasis on proving comfort and guidance during this challenging time.

In some instances, counseling begins prior to the end of life and while the hospice patient still has the ability to participate. Other times, the grieving family simply needs a shoulder to cry on and help with saying a proper goodbye. In many instances, families require help with resolving unfinished business and conflicting emotions.

First and foremost, the hospice provider should offer trained and sympathetic listeners.

There are at least several factors that can influence a person’s response to bereavement:

  • His or her relationship with the deceased.
  • The supporting role of the family in the care of the patient.
  • Reaction to any previous loss and their remembrance of that event.
  • The length of the illness.
  • The particular disposition of the individual and their emotional expression.
  • Overall health and particular lifestyle

In the final analysis, it is always important to remember that hospice care starts before death but doesn’t end with death. Instead, families need the emotional support to cope with grief in order to properly heal.

4/18/2018 7:00:00 AM
Judah Gutwein, L.N.H.A.
Judah Gutwein, L.N.H.A, has many years of experience in the creation, implementation and marketing of high profile businesses to the online community. In 2012, he dedicated and channeled his passion to focus on the Healthcare industry and in 2017 he founded Sky Care Media, LLC. As a Licensed Nursing Home Administra...
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