As the end of life approaches, many people make the decision to return to the comfort of their own home to die in peace. While this is a wonderful goal for individuals, the practical side of taking care of a person who is home on hospice should be taken into consideration. When you want to provide your loved one with their final wish of dying at home, you have to take steps to take care of your own needs at the same time. Caring for a loved one that is declining rapidly takes time, patience, and skill.
Understanding What it Means to Receive Hospice Care
People make the decision to go on hospice care for a number of reasons, but the main reason is that there is nothing else that can be done to prolong their life and treatment will only make them uncomfortable. When a person receives hospice care, this means that their pain will be controlled, and that they will be made comfortable. It also means that the individual will no longer receive life saving treatment, and a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) may be put into place. The focus is on managing symptoms, and not on trying to cure the patient.
Hospice Does Not Provide 24 Hour Care Within the Home of the Patient
Some families are under the impression that hospice care means that the loved one will be cared for by hospice workers 24 hours a day in the home. While nurses and volunteers will be on call for caregivers to consult with at all times, it is the family of the loved one that provides the needed supervision when hospice nurses aren't there. This is a practical piece of bringing a loved one home that you need to consider. Understand that you may need to take care of the physical needs of your loved one, give them a sponge bath, or clean them up after a bathroom accident. You can hire temporary help to ease the transition home, but the family is responsible for gathering together resources to care for their loved one who is now home on hospice care.
Accept the Help that is Offered to You
It's not always easy to accept help, but if you have friends and other family members offering to help with your loved one, it's important to say yes as often as possible. Many families try to do the work all on their own, but they quickly become burnt out with the demands of caring for a dying loved one.
To learn more about hospice care, visit a website like http://www.carolinaeast.org.