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Hospice May Help You Stay Home For the Holidays

Are you facing the decision of whether or not to enter hospice for yourself or for a loved one? It’s a tough decision at first glance. You may be weighing the pros and cons of putting your loved one in a nursing home, hospital or other on-site facility as they near the end of life. But choosing hospice in their own home is often the best choice for families because their loved one can remain in the home setting where they are comfortable and familiar. Especially during the holidays, this comfort and convenience is a big plus for those in hospice in San Mateo and elsewhere, who prefer to be surrounded by their loved ones within a familiar environment.

As the main caregiver in the home, you can provide as much or as little care as you can for your loved one. Hospice nurses and other team members will also provide care during their visits, showing you what you need to know to provide care in the home setting. Hospice care is typically provided by a team, with each patient getting a nurse case manager. You can also opt to have a hospice aide provide personal care, bring in a spiritual care counselor to speak with, a social worker who can arrange practical matters or a volunteer to keep the patient company or run some errands.

Hospice is beneficial to the whole family, especially during the holidays, as family members need a break sometimes to care for their own families and work, says the AARP.

The bottom line is, you get to stay home during hospice, a comforting prospect during the holiday season, to be sure, but also throughout the entire year.

Why Stay Home?

From medical support and personal care to companionship and peace of mind, hospice brings many benefits to patients this time of year and all the year through. Here are some benefits:

  • Care whenever you need it: Hospice can provide nurses for medical support and aides for personal care such as bathing and dressing, all of which relieves stress on family caregivers. Emotional and spiritual support is also available from chaplains, social workers, bereavement coordinators, and volunteers. The additional support of hospice care makes it easier to remain at home for the holidays and take part in festivities and family meals.
  • No more repeat trips to the ER: When a patient has trouble breathing or is experiencing pain late into the night, families may panic and feel they don’t have a choice but to take a stressful and expensive trip to the ER. With hospice available 24/7 if needed, they can provide advice and support, answering questions and providing care that prevents the need for hospital re-admissions. Nurses can visit the patient or show family members how to administer medication to the patient to relieve pain without them having to leave their bed. In this manner, hospice patients can get the care they need while remaining at home during the busy holiday season.
  • Eases financial burdens: Home hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, which eases financial burdens placed not only on the patient but on the family members as well. On top of that, medication and medical equipment used to manage the terminal illness, as well as supplies such as incontinence pads, are covered.
  • Control: Choosing hospice care means you can avoid unwanted hospitalizations, medical treatments, and procedures say VeryWellHealth. The goal of your hospice team is to support the wishes of the patient and family members, putting control in your hands rather than being at the mercy of a clinical setting.
  • Alleviate stress: Hospice care can also alleviate stress by making sure your loved one is clean and comfortable. Nurses can assist with hygiene tasks, while volunteers can provide companionship and respite, thereby reducing stress while you are busy with holiday preparations.
  • Inclusion: Being in a hospice facility, hospital or nursing home can be very isolating, especially during a season where everyone is so busy with holiday festivities, shopping, and get-togethers. Being in hospice in the home setting is more inclusive, and ensures the patient can be a part of the holiday celebrations in some form or another. They don’t feel left out like life is going on without them, and they can participate on a level they are most comfortable with. Living with a terminal illness is isolating and stressful enough. Including the patient in holiday traditions can lift spirits and provide a time for reflection and joy.

Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice

Give the gift of comfort this holiday season and throughout the year. If you have a loved one in need of hospice care, please contact us at 888-978-1306. We invite you to read our hospice stories for inspiration. Please get in touch if we can help in any way.