Hospice & Respite Care
Hospice care provides medical services, emotional support and various other resources for patients who are in the last stages of a terminal illness such as cancer or heart failure. Hospice care also provides the patient's loved ones with the support they need to deal with the difficulties, as well as the emotional impact, of caring for a terminally ill patient. The primary goal of hospice care is to provide patients with the ability to pass on without pain and with dignity.
Reasons for Hospice
Hospice services are designed to provide continual, comprehensive and compassionate care to an individual suffering from the final stages of a disease that cannot be cured. Examples of such illnesses include various types of advanced cancers, heart disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer's disease, or neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
At Park Avenue Extended Care our experienced hospice care team will oversee a patient's treatment and regularly assess his or her needs. Hospice care focuses on caring for a patient using a team approach. Our Hospice care team includes doctors, nurses, health aides, social workers, psychologists, and spiritual advisers. These team members coordinate an individualized plan and work together to provide comprehensive care for the patient. Family members are involved in the caregiving as well, and often work alongside these professionals to help address the patient's needs.
Hospice care services can vary, depending on the precise needs and wishes of the individual patient. Usually, hospice care services will consist of the following:
- Basic medical care, which focuses on controlling pain and symptoms
- Counseling and social support services to help patients and their family members with various psychological, emotional or spiritual issues
- Grief support services for surviving loved ones and friends
Candidates for Hospice
Eligible candidates for hospice are those who have been diagnosed with a terminal disease. In many cases, these patients have been admitted multiple times to the emergency room within the past year, with worsening symptoms that are having a significant impact on their quality of life. Patients may also opt for hospice care if they have decided to stop receiving treatments for a terminal illness.
Benefits of Hospice
Hospice care offers patients many benefits, including reducing their anxiety levels and helping them achieve some degree of acceptance of what is to come. While hospice care does not provide a cure for terminal illnesses, the focus of this practice is to improve the patient's current quality of life so that they can enjoy what time they have left with their friends and family. The focus is on maximizing comfort so the patient can experience a natural, pain-free and dignified death. In some cases, hospice care may actually help prolong the patient's life. Hospice care also provides benefits to family members who may have been struggling to maintain the care of the patient. Hospice team members help loved ones manage the patient's needs in addition to offering them emotional support to cope with the illness and prepare for the eventual death of the patient.
A patient whose symptoms are controlled may be moved to respite care when the caregiver needs a break. Many hospice patients live at home, with their family providing most of the care, sometimes around the clock.Caring for their loved one can be exhausting and stressful. The family members and/or caregivers need time to themselves and it's important that they take that time. Respite care allows a patient to be temporarily placed in a facility with 24-hour care so the family can rest. If the patient is willing and the family requests it, respite care can be a helpful solution to allow caregivers an opportunity to recharge their batteries.
To learn more about our Hospice & Respite Services, please contact us today at 516.431.2600.