“When should someone start a hospice?” This is one of the most common questions that we hear every day.
It is understandably a tough decision to enter your loved one into a hospice since it means accepting that the end is near. However, it can also be very empowering for the individual and improve their quality of life because they can access a range of supportive care and assistance.
As a loving family member, you want your dear one to get the best care available for a terminal illness. However, it is a sad fact that many people delay admission to the hospice until the last few days of the patient’s life.
During this time, the patient has to live their life in significant discomfort and does not get the much-needed symptom relief that hospice care can offer them.
However, in the United States, you have the option of enrolling patients for at least the last six months of their life.
Entering hospice care offers earlier can offer many advantages to the patient.
Better Symptom and Pain Management
When you enroll your loved one earlier in a hospice, they can benefit from personalized pain management and symptom control over the course of several months. The staff also has the opportunity to understand the patient’s needs and can adjust their medication so that the patient experiences as much comfort and relief as possible with palliative care.
Access to Medical Supplies
At a hospice, a patient has immediate access to necessary equipment and supplies, such as wheelchairs and oxygen delivery systems so that their care can be easily managed in-house. Early availability of medical equipment and supplies allows caregivers to manage the increasing medical needs of the patient.
Hospice care is not just beneficial for the patient, but for the family they are leaving behind as well. Hospices are trained in grief counseling and can help patients and their families work out their emotional issues before death. By admitting your loved one earlier to a hospice rather than later, you enable the staff to offer bereavement support, which can assist the entire family in coping with their grief.
Better Quality of Life
Since a hospice focuses on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the patient, early admission can mean your loved one has more time to enjoy the things they love and spend quality time with their family.
It also offers a big opportunity to understand what the important things in life are and gives the patient a chance to live in a stress-free environment during their final days.
Fewer Hospital Stays
Because of the services and support hospices provide, patients are much less likely to be admitted to a hospital in crisis. They are also most likely to die surrounded by the people who care about them and can die at peace and surrounded by love.
Studies have shown that people who have entered hospice care live longer than those with a similar diagnosis who do not get hospice care. Moreover, these additional days for patients are spent in more comfort, doing the activities that they most enjoy.
There is plenty of evidence that indicates that early hospice care offers many more benefits to the patient and their family rather than last-minute admissions. Early hospice care is possible when the patient and their family understand the benefits of a hospice and can sit down to discuss why it should be made a priority.
Patients, family members, friends, and hospice care providers need to come together to become better informed and empowered to discuss options and allow the patient to choose their own path with end-of-life care.
At Los Angeles Hospice, we make it our mission to advocate for a care path that aligns with patients’ needs, wishes, and life goals.
How to Make Your Valentine’s Day Special in Hospice Care in Los Angeles
Valentine’s Day allows us to express our care and affection to our loved ones. However, this day can be challenging for those in hospice care in Los Angeles. Showing love to those in hospice care on Valentine’s Day can bring comfort and joy to them.
Here are some ways to make Valentine’s Day special for those in hospice care in Los Angeles.
Decorate Their Room
Decorating the hospice patient’s room with heart-shaped balloons and flowers can make the environment more festive and cheerful. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way in brightening up their day.
Write a Heartfelt Letter
A heartfelt letter can be a meaningful way to show your love and appreciation to the hospice patient. You can express how much they mean to you, share memories, and offer encouragement. It’s something they can keep and cherish for a lifetime.
Create a Memory Box
A memory box can be a collection of items that will remind the hospice patient of happy memories. You can include photos, trinkets, and mementos of their life. It’s a tangible way for them to hold onto special memories.
Plan a Special Meal
A special meal can bring a lot of joy and comfort to the hospice patient. You can work with the hospice care team to plan a meal that fits their dietary needs and preferences. Depending on their condition, it can be a simple meal or something more elaborate.
Arrange for a Virtual Visit
COVID-19 has made in-person visits challenging, but technology has made virtual visits possible. You can arrange a virtual visit with family and friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a way to connect with your loved in hospice care in Los Angeles, even when physically apart.
Valentine’s Day is a day to show love and affection to those in our lives, including those in hospice care in Los Angeles. By decorating their room, writing a heartfelt letter, creating a memory box, planning a special meal, and arranging a virtual visit, we can make their Valentine’s Day special and bring comfort during their final stages of life.
These small gestures can make a big difference and show they are loved and valued.
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