There is now a large body of research concluding that hospice care, palliative care, and advanced symptom management lengthens life by days to months, while simultaneously improving quality of life. The goal of hospice is neither to lengthen nor shorten life, but to make the most of the moments we have. People sometimes assume that not pursuing curative treatment means life will be shortened. This is wrong. To be eligible for hospice services, your doctor must certify that even with curative treatment, prognosis could be six months. In these cases, forgoing the rigors of hospital treatments and choosing rest and comfort can often add more life.
Different doctors handle this issue differently. Research suggests that patients should proactively schedule time with their doctors to discuss hospice specifically. Patients and families need to initiate conversations with their doctors about whether they want to know the prognosis and about questions surrounding hospice care. Families can also schedule a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with a LIfeCare hospice nurse. To meet at our office, in your home, or even at the hospital, call LifeCare at 903-297-9300 for the Longview, TX office or 936-462-1000 for the Nacogdoches, TX office.
In addition to providing direct patient care, LifeCare hospice empowers family in their goals to take care of a loved one themselves. Through training and supplying the right equipment, we make sure family-caregivers have everything they need to participate in the loved one's care as much as they wish. At the same time, family members sometimes need time to themselves to recharge their batteries and time not working to just be with the loved one. LifeCare hospice facilitates this as well by sending certified nursing assistants and volunteers who can help with various personal care tasks and tasks around the house. Finally, LifeCare hospice provides bereavement support for family members.
The answer to this is most likely yes. LifeCare hospice specializes in comfort and quality-of-life during episodes of advanced illness (even cancer and COPD). Research demonstrates that for comfort and most categories of symptoms, home hospice care controls symptoms better and delivers service with higher patient satisfaction compared to hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes. This is in no way an indictment on the services of inpatient care facilities. This observation is simply a recognition that hospice care does well what it was designed to do.
If a patient's condition improves or goes into remission, he or she may be discharged from LifeCare hospice and return to other medical care as needed. If home care is still needed, LifeCare offers the very important advantage of being able to transfer a family to our home health program or our innovative palliative care program, AIM™. This happens from time to time. Patients can be re-admitted to hospice services at a later time if needed.
If you are thinking about hospice, palliative care, or home health, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions and even visit your home for a free consultation.