This is a question we often encounter when we talk about our Gifted Wishes. Hospice is a special type of care which focuses on the comfort and quality of life as opposed to a cure. However, that doesn’t mean all patients in hospice care pass away. There are times when a patient will move in and out of what an insurance company defines as ‘hospice care’.
Patients in hospice care can suffer from a number of ailments including congestive heart failure, various types of cancer, Alzheimer’s or dementia, or auto-immune illnesses. What people often find surprising is that patients of all ages can be in hospice care and any patient receiving hospice care is eligible for a Gift Wish.
Hospice care is performed by nurses, social workers, home health aides, and/or family members. This kind of care is around the clock, twenty four hours a day, which can sometimes be a physical and emotional burden on staff, volunteers and family members. Hospice care can be performed in a hospital, a hospice facility or in a patient’s home.
Hospice care is there to provide for the dignity of the patient while offering emotional support at the same time. Preserving the patient’s quality of life is the central focus for caregivers and hospital or facility staff. While every patients care plan is different most hospice care provides for symptom control, pain control, physical therapies, respiratory therapies, medications, wound care, and personal support of the patient.
That doesn’t mean, however, that hospice patients aren’t out there painting the town red, taking in a show at the theater, or enjoying one last stroll in the sand… because they are! Remember the goal of hospice care is to provide comfort and support for the patient while enhancing the quality of the patients’ life.
Many people envision hospice care being solely at a terminal patient’s bedside, and while it can be that, it can also take the form of truly helping a patient ENJOY each and every day that they do have to the absolute fullest.
In the past few years we’ve been proud to help support social workers, hospital staff and family members in their goal to provide hospice care for their loved ones.
This has taken the form of wheel chair ramps to provide a patient with access to transportation. We have purchased new bedding, new mattresses or recliners to provide comfortable sleep for patients.
Whatever your or your patient's need is, the Pacific NW Hospice Foundation is passionate about being able to assist a patient in their goals for comfort and enjoyment of their journey.