Hospice and Palliative Care
PALLIATIVE CARE & HOSPICE ARE ABOUT COMFORT AND HOW YOU LIVE
New Book: BEING MORTAL, Atul Gawande
The decision to seek palliative care or hospice is difficult for the patient, caregivers, family, and care team, including your doctors. This article in The Washington Post has great insight into who is using palliative care and the need for more staff, Most Hospitals Need More Staff for Palliative Care.
A word about: Palliative Care. Because so many people are living longer with serious illness, palliative care is evolving into a separate service line in many healthcare systems, separate from hospice. You owe it to yourself or loved one to explore this support option. Check: getpalliativecare.org And remember, you can request palliative care, as more and more patients do.
The order for hospice is usually written by the physician when end of life becomes a reality. Hospice care can be administered in the patient's home, or at Hospice. States frequently set standards on home-hospice care.
Some hospitals have their own hospice, while others work with hospice facilities in the area.
Cancer.net has a very helpful hospice page, here.
My son was in palliative/hospice care; a wonderful physician assistant visited weekly, taking vitals, listening to his lungs, prescribing pain medication, and counseling. It was the hospice nurse who visited on the final Sunday, and helped make the decision to go to the hospital for the last time. These people are truly dedicated and provide support and strength when needed most. I cannot thank them enough.
The Joint Commission provides an easy guide to accredited care: Quality Check, click here to visit.
Many, many grief programs are offered, please explore these, at least you'll be talking to others. Your medical social worker should be available to help. There are counseling programs for children too.