When an individual is not expected to survive a medical condition or is reaching the end of their life, they typically enter into two phases of care: palliative or hospice. Both are very similar, with the intent to make the individual comfortable during the process of dying.
The difference between palliative and hospice care is that in the former, the individual is likely still receiving treatment to overcome their ailment. Hospice care, on the other hand, is the stage of care in which treatment has stopped, and all focus is on making the individual's passing as painless as possible—for the person who is dying as well as their loved ones.
Here are the people involved in palliative and hospice care and some of the options and services they provide or recommend.
Options for Hospice and Palliative Care Professionals and Services
Hospice and palliative care teams are interdisciplinary groups of healthcare professionals who provide care and support to those nearing the end of their lives. They're also a great support network for the individual's family. Teams typically include the following professionals:
- The senior's primary care physician
- A doctor specializing in hospice and palliative care who will work closely with the senior's primary care physician to manage symptoms and provide end-of-life care. The doctor may prescribe "comfort packs," a selection of prescription medications to ease pain and anxiety and treat physical symptoms and complications associated with the dying process.
- A registered nurse who will provide hands-on care, manage symptoms, and often coordinate with other members of the hospice team.
- A social worker who will provide emotional support and practical assistance for both the senior and their family. They can help consult on financial and legal matters and provide referrals to community resources.
- Clergy who will provide emotional and spiritual support to the senior and their family.
- Trained volunteers who can provide companionship and support to the senior and their family.
- Physical, occupational, or speech therapists to help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life.
- A home health aide who will assist with daily activities, such as bathing and dressing, and provide light housekeeping.
The team will work closely with one another and with the senior's primary care physician to develop a comprehensive care plan that addresses their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. They will also provide bereavement support for the senior's family after they have passed away. Hospice care can be provided in various settings, including the individual's home, assisted living facilities, and hospice centers.
Home Hospice Aid in the Glendale, AZ Area
Are you in need of hospice or palliative care in Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Luke Air Force Base, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Waddell, Goodyear, or Tolleson? The home health care professionals of Senior Helpers of Glendale offer several compassionate care services intended to support the passing individual as well as their family. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to make this time easier for you and your loved ones.