Moving a loved one into hospice care can be a difficult and emotional decision. However, it can also provide comfort and support for both the patient and their family during a challenging time. If you have never utilized hospice services for a loved one before, you may be unsure of what to expect from the process. Here are three things to expect when moving your loved one into hospice care.

1. Support From the Hospice Team

Hospice care is provided by a team of healthcare professionals, including nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers. This team works together to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support to the patient and their family. The hospice team will work with the patient’s primary care physician to create a personalized care plan that addresses the patient’s individual needs and goals. This plan may include pain management, symptom control, and emotional support for the patient and their family.

2. Palliative Care

Hospice care is a type of palliative care, which focuses on providing relief from symptoms and improving the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. The goal of palliative care is not to cure the illness but to manage symptoms and improve the patient’s overall well-being. Palliative care may include medication to manage pain and other symptoms, such as nausea and shortness of breath. It may also involve complementary therapies, such as massage or music therapy, to promote relaxation and relieve stress.

3. End-of-Life Care

Hospice care is often provided to patients who have a life-limiting illness and a prognosis of six months or less. End-of-life care, also known as comfort care, is provided to patients who are nearing the end of their life. End-of-life care focuses on providing comfort and support to the patient and their family during the dying process. This may include pain management, emotional support, and spiritual care. When it comes to end-of-life care, a doctor will usually refer a patient to hospice when they see their end-of-life approaching. According to the Home Best Practices and Future Insights Study, over 75% of hospice centers will admit patients within four hours of being referred by a doctor. As such, the process can move quickly.

Moving a loved one into hospice care can be a difficult decision, but it can also provide comfort and support for both the patient and their family. Expect to receive support from a hospice team, palliative care to manage symptoms, and end-of-life care to provide comfort during the dying process. Hospice care can provide a peaceful and dignified end-of-life experience for your loved one. If a doctor has referred your loved one to palliative or hospice care, we would love to help you through this challenging time. Call us now to discuss your loved one’s needs and how we can help.