The Pros and Cons of Hospice Home CarePosted on September 7, 2013 by ECR Louisville in Blog, Caregiver Education, Home Health Care (Medical)
When a family member falls ill and the doctor says he/she has only several months to live, it can be quite devastating. The situation may be made even more difficult by the fact that no one in the family can really take that much time off from work to care for the sick family member. In this case, your best option could be to bring your loved one to a hospice to get proper care.
What is Hospice Home Care?
This type of care is designed specifically for people with just about six months to live. The focus is generally on relieving the patient’s symptoms rather than trying to find a cure and the goal is to make the patient’s remaining days as comfortable as possible. Hospice care also aims to prepare both the patient and the family for his/her eventual death.
Advantages of Hospice Home Care
Among the biggest advantages of this type of arrangement for an ailing loved one is the team approach. Your care team in this case will typically consist of a doctor, a number of nurses, a social worker, a palliative medicine specialist, some nursing assistants and volunteers, and even a spiritual counselor. There’s even an extended team that includes a pharmacist, a psychiatric specialist, and a few other therapists. This should assure you that everything your loved one needs to be comfortable in his/her remaining days will be adequately provided.
Perhaps the most important advantage of this form of caring for the terminally sick, though, is the fact that they at least get to spend their last days at home. This takes away their fear of dying and draws them even closer to their family. For you and the rest of your family, the setup leaves you free to provide personal support to your ailing loved one while the professional team handles his/her medical needs. The volunteers will then take charge of the patient’s other needs. Furthermore, the team will help you come to terms with the fact that the day of your loved one’s death is near. When the moment finally arrives, therefore, you should already be emotionally and psychologically prepared.
Disadvantages of Hospice Home Care
The biggest disadvantage of caring for a terminally ill loved one at home is perhaps the fact that it forces you to face the reality of death well before it actually happens. This can be a double-edged sword of sorts. Although acknowledging that death is near will help you prepare for its eventuality, it can also be emotionally exhausting and may even throw some shadow onto the last few days you spend with your ailing loved one.
You’ll have to think long and hard about the wisdom of getting hospice home care for your loved one. Is it really the best option in light of your circumstances? Is there a better alternative? Remember that what works for other may not necessarily work for you. More importantly, though, consider what will make your loved one happy as he/she lives out his/her remaining days on earth.