At least six in ten American adults live with a chronic disease. Four in ten manage more than one chronic disease, which can be pretty overwhelming. For these people, it reaches a time when the condition lowers their lifespan to about six months or less.
Palliative treatment offers support and compassion to patients and their families in the last stages of chronic disease. These diseases include neurological complications, cancer, stroke, heart conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney complications.
There is a myriad of choices when it’s time for palliative care. However, choosing an option that guarantees to improve the quality of life of your loved one can be pretty challenging. Here are seven tips to help you make this critical decision.
1. Choose a Palliative Treatment Facility With Different Levels of Care
There are four levels of hospice care, including in-home, in-patient, continuous, and respite care. Any of these options could be viable for your loved one, depending on the needs and stage of the chronic condition.
However, some physicians may advise you to start with the lowest level (in-home) before transitioning to the rest. That’s why it’s imperative to work with a facility that offers medical care at all levels.
2. 24/7 Medical Care Support
Watch out for hospice care services that offer 24/7 medical support to in-home patients. Whether a critical development happens during the day or in the middle of the time, the medical team should respond swiftly. This includes during normal business days and national holidays.
The palliative care treatment plan should also support telemedicine technology around the clock. Nevertheless, do in-depth research and learn more about customizing a palliative care regimen for your loved one.
3. Flexible In-Patient Visitation Hours
If the symptoms of the chronic disease are pretty overwhelming, physicians may advise you to take your loved one to an in-patient hospice facility. In-patient facilities have doctors and nurses watching the patient 24/7, providing specialized care to ease the patient.
Ensure that you discuss visitation hours before booking your loved one into an in-patient facility. The end goal of palliative care is to allow patients to spend quality time with their loved ones during their final days.
4. Additional Wellbeing Services
A caring palliative treatment facility should offer multiple facets of support beyond healthcare. Additional services may include massage, counseling therapy, and spiritual nourishment. In most cases, the patient’s loved ones might also need grief care support, especially children.
5. Services in Multiple Locations
It will help if the hospice offers medical care to your loved one within your location. Whether it’s in-home or in-patient care, you want to maximize the limited time with your patient. If the hospice doesn’t have a facility, they should serve the patient in the nearest hospital.
6. Check Patient Satisfaction Scores
The palliative care service provider should include family testimonials on their site. These testimonials may also include feedback and reviews from other online community forums. Go for a hospice with five-star rated satisfaction scores.
7. Well-Trained Staff and Specialized Certification
All the clinical staff members of the hospice team, including their aides, should have sufficient training to provide palliative treatment plans. Most importantly, they should have specialized certification for hospice care.
Verifying this information reassures you that your loved one is in safe hands.
Hospice Care Brings Love and Compassion During the Final Days
Contrary to many opinions, palliative treatment is about living life to the fullest, not dying. It gives the family one more opportunity to spend quality time with their loved ones, doing the things they love.
Read more articles on this site for more information on treatment plans for palliative care.
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