I have learned a great deal about Hospice care recently because of my parents having to make the decision to put my grandmother on it. My grandmother’s health declined within the last month. She had been living with my mother and father for the past 13 years. She was quick witted, knew about current events, and was able to care for herself with little help. She loved to watch Judge Judy and do cross word puzzles. She was able to carry on a conversation without a problem.
Around the end of June, her health started to decline at a tremendous rate. She started to experience difficulty with walking, eating, and bathing. She started sleeping more and had difficulty comprehending. Collectively, as a family, in conjunction with her doctor’s advice, the decision was made to place her in hospice care at my parent’s home. She turned 99 on August 17th, and she passed away on August 21st. She passed peacefully and comfortably in her sleep.
Hospice care enables the individual and their families to experience the final stage of life together, in the setting most comfortable for them. In most cases, the person remains at home, close to family and friends while under professional medical supervision. Many hospices around the country assign a care team to each hospice patient. The hospice interdisciplinary team may include a physician; nurse; a pharmacist; social worker; bereavement counselor; chaplain; massage, art and music therapists; and volunteers. Each team member is focused on the person, not the illness, making sure that all physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met.
A website that I found for my parents to help them was: http://www.caregiverslibrary.org/home.aspx
The site was very helpful in explaining what hospice is and how it works.