Hospice care service is often associated with end-of-life care for cancer patients. However, this specialized form of care is also appropriate and beneficial for individuals with a range of non-cancer diagnoses. Patients can benefit from opting into hospice care as soon as they become eligible to do so, which means typically after their doctors inform them that they are expected to have six or fewer months left to live. Hospice is there for all sorts of patients who are facing the end of life, including patients who have dementia, COPD, heart disease, and more.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice care focuses on providing comfort and symptom management for patients with any life-limiting illness or condition. Patients typically are also facing a prognosis of six months or less left to live if the disease follows its natural course. The overall goal of hospice is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family, offering a holistic approach that addresses physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Hospice Care for Heart Disease
Heart disease is a progressive condition in which the heart isn’t functioning properly, and patients experience a significant decline in quality of life as their symptoms become worse. Hospice supports patients with advanced heart disease by helping to manage symptoms like shortness of breath, edema, and fatigue. Patients may also need emotional support as they face their worsening heart disease. Family caregivers also receive both respite assistance and education to help them be there for the people they love.
Hospice Care for COPD
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive lung disease. The condition makes it difficult for patients to breathe, which has a huge impact on the patient’s quality of life and ability to engage in even simple daily activities. Hospice is an essential part of breathing support, including managing shortness of breath, helping with oxygen therapy, and assisting with other treatments. Other COPD-related symptoms, like pain, coughing, and fatigue, need support as well and hospice providers are there for their patients.
Hospice Care for Dementia
Dementia is characterized by a decline in cognitive function and ability to reason. As dementia becomes worse, patients and their families face some unique challenges. Hospice care providers offer assistance with symptoms like pain, restlessness, and agitation. Patients with end-of-life dementia often cannot care for themselves at all, so hospice providers are there to help with bathing, eating, and other daily tasks. They can also help family members to find the assistance that they need in order to cope with the emotional challenges of end-of-life dementia.
So many people misunderstand the goals of hospice care and believe that it is only for patients suffering from various cancer diagnoses. The reality is that hospice is there for anyone nearing the end of their lives, even if the life-limiting illness they’re facing is not cancer. By helping patients and families to address symptoms and receive the comfort and education that they need, hospice improves the quality of life for patients during challenging experiences.
If you or your aging loved one could benefit from Hospice Care Services in St. Matthews SC, contact the caring staff at Grove Park Hospice, at (803)536-6644.
Providing Hospice & Palliative Care in Orangeburg, Bamberg, & Calhoun Counties
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