Tips for Providing a Loved One With At-Home Hospice Care

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Topical Medical Articles

Hospice care at home can be the gentlest way to care for a loved one who is at the end stages of a terminal illness. Your loved one can enjoy the comfort and joy of life at home, treatments from caregivers who make house calls regularly, a pain relief plan, and a high quality of life while receiving at-home hospice care.

The Washington Post reports that most people prefer to pass away at home. Offering your relative the opportunity to do so is a beautiful gesture of love and support. Follow these tips when providing your loved one with at-home hospice care.

Make Sure You Have the Proper Equipment

Along with the importance of planning medical care, you need to have the right equipment in your home for proper hospice care. You need to have the necessary medical equipment and medical supplies to make your loved one comfortable and reduce their pain as much as possible.

Talk about the situation and unique needs of your loved one with his or her medical team to determine what equipment is recommended for ultimate comfort. Hospital beds, patient lifts, ventilators, oxygen therapy equipment, bathroom supplies, wheelchairs, and support surfaces are among the types of at-home medical equipment and supplies that should be considered.

Arrange the Equipment and Furniture to Best Serve the Needs of the Patient

Once you have the equipment, you need to arrange it to best meet the needs of your loved one and others in the home. You may also modify current furniture in your home that suits their needs. Also, placing walkers, wheelchairs, canes, or other devices to assist with mobility within reach of the bed can allow a patient to feel a greater sense of control and dignity.

The bed should be placed in an area that’s convenient and comfortable for your loved one. You may decide that a family room is the best place to allow people to spend time with your loved one, or you may choose another room that has easy access to a bathroom. If you ultimately decide to place the bed in a shared area, hang curtains around the bed for privacy.

Don’t Try to Satisfy Everyone in the Family

When you are focused on providing the best possible experiences for your loved one in hospice care, you may also be on the receiving end of a lot of requests from other family members. People may want to come by at any hour. Some relatives may want to visit when you simply cannot arrange it, while others may feel obliged to voice their opinions against hospice care.

It will be impossible to satisfy all the needs of every concerned party. Simply focus on what is best for your loved one. If your loved one is very much aware of their surroundings and can communicate what he or she wants, honor those wishes whenever possible. Otherwise, trust yourself to call the shots in your loved one’s best interests. You don’t have to try for everyone else’s approval.

Try to Secure a Support Network of Your Own

It’s not easy to witness anyone’s final days, but being actively there for your loved one at the end of his or her life can be extremely difficult. It may be more challenging than you anticipated. Social workers, hospice care nurses, and family members are sure to offer support for your loved one. But you should ask for others to support you as well.

Reach out to good friends and close family members to ask if you can call when the going gets tough. Ask for exactly what you need to feel supported. Supporting you is what your friends are likely longing to do, and you’ll be doing them a favor by telling them how to best do it. You may be touched by the positive responses you receive when you simply ask for help.

Don’t Take on Unnecessary Guilt as a Caregiver

If a doctor recommends it, hospice care is clearly the best way to help your terminally ill loved one. But some caregivers still take on unnecessary guilt and wonder whether it was too soon for hospice care. However, that guilt is nearly always unfounded.

As explained in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, it is actually more common to wait too long for hospice care. Following a doctor’s advice and transitioning to hospice care is typically best for your loved one. Do the best you can for them and try to let go of any possible residual guilt.

Finally, getting the right medical equipment is of utmost importance as you plan to start hospice care for your loved one. From staffing needs to medical equipment choices, you don’t have to do any of this alone. Support is available. Corner Home Medical offers high-quality equipment to make your loved one as comfortable as possible at home.