One of the toughest questions we may face is: When it comes to medical intervention, when is enough, enough?
We Americans have looked to the healthcare system all our lives, from immunizations and well checks to flu shots and cancer screenings. We’re familiar with the cycle of diagnosis and treatment with the intent to heal and cure.
So what happens when a disease or condition is no longer responding to treatment? Where does hospice care come in?
Thinking about stepping away from curative treatment and toward hospice is a huge shift away from what we’ve known as a society. But signing on to hospice doesn’t mean the end of good medical care, quality of life or hope.
Hospice providers are expert at knowing how to manage people’s symptoms, even when they’re complex. They know how to help people feel better. When people hear, “There’s nothing more we can do,” hospice says, “There’s so much more that we can do.”
Hospice care starts with a question: What’s most important to you? The answer to that question informs the plan of care for each patient.
Physicians and nurses address pain and symptoms quickly, providing attentive monitoring, review and change when needed. Specially trained certified nursing assistants provide gentle care and enhanced services to promote comfort and quality of life. Social workers and chaplains help patients and family navigate practical, emotional and spiritual aspects of this journey. Volunteers may provide specialized services, support and companionship.
With such complete care, patients feel better. Some even improve. When pain and discomfort are at bay, people have energy to take part in their own lives. They can say what’s important, accomplish tasks and have meaningful time with friends and family.
Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance. People receive hospice care in their private residences, nursing or assisted living facilities or hospice in-patient facilities.
Hospice care starts with a question: What’s most important to you?
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Agape Healthcare, Hospice & Palliative Care. They can be reached at 720-482-1988 or email@example.com