Hospice Has Changed in a Big Way

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and we have worked with countless families to connect them with the right palliative and hospice care for their loved ones. While you might already have preconceived notions about what hospice care is, November is all about busting the myths around palliative and hospice care and how they can promote dignity, respect and love during a difficult journey.

.What Is Hospice in 2019?

 Every year, almost 1.4 million people receive care from hospice services in the United States. Hospice programs today provide everything from pain management to symptom control, or spiritual care to psychosocial support. Palliative and hospice care companies provide high-quality medical care combined with spiritual and emotional support to families who are coping with a serious illness or facing the end of life. The goal of hospice is to help someone with terminal illness live as well as possible for as long as possible

 What Can Hospice Look Like?

Hospice can take a variety of forms depending on your unique situation. In most cases, hospice is recommended when a patient has six months or less to live, is rapidly declining despite proper treatment or is ready to live more comfortably without treatments to prolong life. What could palliative care include?

  • Grievance support group

  • Terminal comfort care

  • In-home care

  • Spiritual advisor or chaplain visits

In the mid-1970s, hospice care first became more popular in the United States with patients who had cancer. As a result, many people still assume that it is only appropriate for those with end-stage or terminal cancers. However, today over half of patients have other illnesses that are eligible for hospice care, like late-stage kidney disease, advanced dementia or late-stage heart disease. Many programs today also accept infants, children, adolescents or adults.

 Talking With Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One

The loss of a loved one is difficult. How can you navigate these tough conversations?

  • Instead of saying “you’re so strong,” offer understanding and acknowledge the pain they are experiencing.

  • Don’t try to focus on how the person who passed is not suffering any longer or in a better place. Losing a loved one is not made better with a silver lining, so you don’t have to find one.

  • When dealing with grief, it can be hard to reach out. Instead of asking the person to call you if they need you, set a time or find a need and take care of it.

Explore Palliative Care and Hospice Care

At Senior Care Lifestyles, we specialize in facilitating the connection between seniors and the right in-home care, assisted living and senior living communities. We have assisted hundreds of families with finding effective and affordable solutions for loved ones. Get in touch today by calling 410-977-3718!


Article submitted by Deborah Bakalich, MSRN Member 410-977-3718