When one thinks of hospice, they think that death is right around the corner or it is to be within the last week or so of the life of their loved one, and it’s giving up. However, this is not so. Although common to think this way, the truth is that entering hospice is not giving up but adding additional care for the one in hospice and the family.
Reasons Hospice Isnt Giving Up
A full team of professionals, RN’s, Aides, Social Workers, and Chaplains join the family to give caring, loving and professional help where needed. Entering hospice is seizing opportunities to embrace hope, peace and comfort when needed the most. Here are a few reasons why hospice care is about seizing hope and not letting go.
Patients often live longer in hospice. The study “Life Expectancy and Hospice Care” published in American Family Physician in 2018 explains that patients who receive even a single day of hospice care may live up to three months longer than they would otherwise, depending on when the patient comes into hospice and the progression of the disease. Yet the study shows that hospice care truly benefits the patient and family. Battling a terminal condition can be a stressful, time-consuming, exhausting and often painful experience. Seen in that light, perhaps it should not surprise us that switching to a focus on treating the symptoms and allowing the patient to rest should result in a longer life expectancy.
Hospice can reduce symptoms. Terminal conditions often produce debilitating pain and other symptoms that reduce quality of life. When a patient’s diagnosis is terminal, shifting focus from quantity to quality is often the best way to maximize the life that remains. A patient’s final months may be a great deal more fulfilling when their pain is eased, and they have the support they need.
While in hospice, patients can structure their time as they see fit. As we mentioned already, attempting to treat or cure a terminal disease can involve a large amount of time and stress. Releasing those efforts and receiving hospice care in the home instead can free up a lot more of a patient’s remaining time. Don Edwards of Golden Rule Hospice quoted “The patient is then free to spend that time how they choose. They can take more time to be with family and friends, or they can use it to engage with their hobbies and passions. Every moment can be filled with meaning and value.”
Hospice helps to restore a sense of control to the patient.It may seem counterintuitive, but a lot of patients feel like they gain control by entering hospice care. That seems backwards at first, because when we fight a terminal disease, we are trying to take control of a desperate situation. Sometimes, the disease progression is too advanced and cannot be treated effectively. In cases where that fight becomes a futile one, continuing to battle does not give the patient more control. Instead, it diverts their attention and energy away from what they can control. Entering into hospice care gives back the dignity of life and comfort to the family and patient. This can also bring a sense of relief and peace.
Learn How Golden Rule Can Help Bring Relief to You or Your Loved One
Deciding to begin hospice care is not “giving up.” In many ways, it is the exact opposite. If you are ready to find out more about how hospice care can increase quality of life and restore control for you or your loved one, Golden Rule Hospice is here to offer compassionate and respectful care. To schedule your consultation, please call (470) 395-6567. We have locations in Atlanta and Alpharetta, and work with patients and their loved ones throughout the metropolitan area.