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Our Blog

Written by Kate Nypaver

November 7, 2019

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Hospice is typically needed when your loved one’s health deteriorates to the point of no recovery. This can happen due to a terminal illness, injury, or just old age. A doctor must recommend hospice care if they feel your loved one has less than six months to live.

There are inpatient hospice centers, but typically a hospice team will come to the home or a nursing home facility where your loved one already resides. The caregivers provide pain management and symptom control, focusing mostly on making sure your loved one is comfortable during the last phases of their illness. (Note: it is possible to leave hospice care and continue treating the illness at any time with a doctor’s recommendation, but it is not usually the case).

When the choice for hospice is made, life will take on a new meaning. Time will become more precious. You might even experience anticipatory grief, which is a feeling of grief that occurs before your loved one has passed. It’s painful trying to accept this new phase of life and coming to understand what it all means. But your hospice care team will include social workers, caregivers, and counselors who are there to help you through these confusing feelings.

And most hospice services provide respite care, so you and others who have been caring for your loved one can take some personal time to rest and manage tasks that have been neglected. This is very necessary for your own mental and physical health, even though you might not want to leave the bedside. Your health is still very important, and in order to properly support your loved one, you need to take care of yourself too.

When the time finally comes for your loved one to draw their last breath, the hospice caregivers will be there to support both you and your loved one. They offer bereavement care and can help contact the funeral home of your choice when it is needed. Through phone calls, visits, and recommendations, your hospice care team will help see you through your grief.

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