If you asked people who are within the last six months of their lives what is most important to them, you’re likely to hear answers such as:
- Retaining control over which services will be provided
- To be free from pain
- Emotional and spiritual support
- To remain at home
In-home hospice care meets all of these needs and more, particularly when combined with non-medical home care services, like those offered by Compassionate Nursing Services. Together, home care and hospice providers can ensure physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs are all addressed, based on the care recipient’s final wishes.
Home and Hospice Care Meet Physical Needs
In the final stages of an individual’s life, pain, fatigue, digestive issues, difficulty with breathing, seizures, skin irritation, as well as other types of physical problems may occur. It is essential to understand how to read the individual’s nonverbal cues and take steps to help ease symptoms. A hospice nurse will supply medical relief, while a home care provider will:
- Help the person practice relaxation techniques for example, aromatherapy, soft music, reading aloud in a relaxing voice, etc.
- Provide engaging distractions, such as playing a game or cards together, working on a memory book project, or looking through photo albums
- Offering companionship to let the person know he or she is not alone
In addition, the care team will closely monitor the individual’s skin. Pressure sores and dry skin are not unusual, and can be alleviated through consistent repositioning, using lip balm to soothe dry lips and ice chips if the inside of the mouth is dry, and ensuring skin stays clean and moisturized.
Home and Hospice Care Meet Spiritual/Emotional Needs
Being available to listen to whatever the person wishes to discuss or say can be a significant comfort. A caregiver can there be for just as much or as little time as wanted to permit the person to share any thoughts and feelings nonjudgmentally. Our caregivers know the importance of never correcting or arguing with the person, or attempting to change his/her thoughts or feelings in any way. The hospice provider and in-home caregiver will also respect and honor the person’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and help provide whatever brings the individual comfort.
Home and Hospice Care Meet Practical Needs
Minimizing the burden of simple, everyday tasks is a really important service for families. It frees up precious time for them to spend with the person receiving hospice care. Depending on the family’s wishes, our caregivers can help with:
- Light housekeeping and laundry services
- Preparing meals
- Running errands
- Personal hygiene care, such as bathing/showering or bed baths, hair and oral care, incontinence care, and much more
If someone you love is receiving hospice or palliative care, contact Compassionate Nursing Services, offering senior home care in St. Louis and nearby areas, at 314-432-4312 for a complimentary in-home consultation. We’re here to answer questions any time, and also to share more about how our services can enrich quality of life for both the person in need of care, and for you, too.