Monthly Archives: August 2014

Understanding Hospice: 6 Things To Know

Approaching death presents a lot of unknowns to a patient and their family. The true meaning of hospice care and what this style of care looks like seems to be a common misconception. For example, almost every one you speak to will say they would rather die in the comfort of their home surrounded by people they love. Little do they know, hospice care offers just that.

Help your family take advantage of the best care option for them by knowing the truth about hospice care.

Hospice is an approach to care, not a place

Hospice is a style of care that can be provided in your home, a hospital, or a nursing home. Most people choose hospice care because it is an approach to medical care that can be experienced at home while remaining surrounded by loving family and memories. With home hospice, you are assigned a team of caregivers that includes doctors and nurses, counselors and therapists, social workers and even clergy. This team is designed to manage all of a patients needs while approaching death.

Medical care does not end when hospice care begins

As mentioned before, a hospice care program includes specialized medical practitioners. The only difference between hospice care and standard medical treatment is that hospice is not designed to cure. It is a style of treatment that is structured to make a terminally ill patient comfortable during their final days by managing pain and symptoms.

Hospice is not just for elderly patients

Another misconception is that a patient is only eligible for hospice if they have cancer or are elderly. The truth is, a person of any age can qualify for hospice care as long as they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. That means a younger person with AIDS or Alzheimer’s can receive hospice style care. A doctor just needs to confirm that the patient will not likely live beyond six months.

Hospice care does not require huge out-of-pocket costs

Studies show that hospice can actually reduce the cost of treating terminal illnesses because of its intensely focused efforts. It also tends to cost less than treatment in traditional hospital or nursing home settings because a large part of the care giving can be done by family members.

Depending on the type of insurance you have, it is possible you may receive further relief from some of the financial burden. Medicare and Medicaid will cover partial costs for the various options of hospice care Las Vegas offers. For those who are eligible, the Department of Veteran Affairs may cover all costs regarding this style of care. For private insurers or HMOs you’ll have to inquire about what benefits are available to you. Low-income families can research which hospice care providers offer assistance to them.

Hospice can accommodate almost all patients

Your hospice care team will deliver everything you need for proper care to your door. At home, caregivers will even be taught how you use any machines that are necessary to provide the highest level of care.

Hospice should not be seen as a last resort

Many people think hospice care is designed to simply help a person die. This is not true. Hospice care intends to make patients feel comfortable and assist with final planning. This is so that a patient can die with dignity and peace of mind. Don’t be part of the 33 percent of families that wish they entered their families into hospice care sooner than they did.

Choose ProCare Hospice of Nevada because they strive to give patients the best experience possible. For more information about Las Vegas hospice care, contact 702.380.8300.

Grief & Coping with a Loved One’s Terminal Illness

Grief & Coping with a Loved One’s Terminal Illness

In recent years, the experience of death has become less about processing its sudden onset. More and more people around the world are being diagnosed with terminal illnesses. This means a patient and their family must cope with the knowledge of impending death for weeks, or even years before it happens.

The process of coping with this grief comes in five stages and can potentially change the way people live their lives. Entire families are forced to face issues that have been left unresolved and dreams that were never attained.

Crisis

The first stage of the grieving process is crisis. This is when the diagnosis of terminal illness creates a crisis for a family.

The most common first reaction to this news is anxiety, if the nature of the relationship between patient and family is healthy. If the relationship is strained in anyway, the initial news often creates feelings of guilt, resentment or anger. That anger can be directed at a perceived injustice if the individual is young.

At this stage, families should seek guidance on what to expect and find people they can turn to for support.

Unity

Next, families can usually be seen rallying together in an effort to move through the following stages in the process. Members of the family will often hang up complaints and long standing grudges to support the familial unit. This is because the needs of the dying become more important than anything else the family may be facing or experiencing.

During this stage, the family has to make major decisions. These include choosing a medical team and finding the right treatment option for the patient. This is also the stage during which legal work, such as handling an estate, is taken care of. It’s important to be aware of the roles everyone assumes during this time. This has a huge impact on the psychological health of the family during this tough time.

Upheaval

When the unity established in state two begins to fade because of stress and sadness, the third stage begins. Thoughts and feelings that were once held back to protect other members of the family are released and can create friction. Although it is uncomfortable, the release of positive and negative emotions are a critical part of the grieving process. Without it, the resulting strained relationships are likely to cause the family to fall apart.

Resolution

Movement into the fourth stage of grief is characterized by the deterioration of the patient. Family members begin recalling and sharing memories of experiences that have impacted the nature of relationships with the patient. This is a great opportunity for the familial unit to resolve old issues, heal wounds and release excessive baggage. Old rivalries, jealousies and resentments can be addressed and processed to clear the way for the final stage.

Renewal

The final stage  begins with the funeral and the celebration of the life of the patient. This is a time during which a family can remember a past loved one, while choosing how they will honor their memory in the future. It can be a creative time of personal and familial renewal, that is usually navigated over an underlying sense of sadness and relief.

If your family is experiencing trouble moving through this process, ProCare Hospice of Nevada can. The nurses and staff are dedicated to providing comfort and support to all the patients. They strive to give patients the best experience possible. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

Is It Time to Call a Hospice Provider? Signs Every Care Provider Should Be Aware Of

Is It Time to Call a Hospice Provider?

When dealing with your family’s well-being, making the choice to pursue hospice care can be a difficult one. Deciding when can be even more difficult to navigate. Unfortunately, you or your loved one’s doctor may not be able to inform you of the ideal time to assume this level of care. The best way to know if your family is truly ready to begin the process of hospice care is to discuss it with them. Approach the conversation delicately and be ready to recognize the signs that every caregiver should be aware of.

Is it time?

If the disease has progressed to the point where there is no cure or the family is no longer able to commit to full time support, it’s time to contact a hospice care provider.

Another good indication that a loved one is ready for hospice care is when he or she begins to decline treatment and hospitalization. This suggests that your family member has accepted the terminal nature of their illness and has moved past the stage of fighting. They generally seem at peace with the idea of death and hospice care can provide relief.

Perhaps the most important sign is that you are ready to let go. Of course, losing a loved one is never easy. But there comes a time in the life cycle that we have to inevitably accept the death of those we love. If everyone involved is ready, it’s time to make the move.

Although it is a good idea to consult the family’s primary care physician, remember the decision is ultimately yours. You may notice small clues that it is time to pursue hospice care that can go unseen by your doctor.

  • Increased pain, nausea or difficulty breathing
  • Repeated trips to the hospital or emergency room
  • The patient doesn’t recover well after medical set-backs
  • Increased assistance necessary for basic functions like walking, eating and using the restroom
  • Decreased alertness
  • Emotional withdrawal, increased sleep or difficulty comprehending things
  • Decreased appetite and severe weight loss.

If you’ve decided that hospice care in Las Vegas is the right choice for your family at this stage, then it is important to determine whether or not your loved one is eligible.

Eligibility

Any elderly patient diagnosed with a life-limiting disease is eligible for hospice care in Las Vegas. Cancer, Parkinson’s, heart disease and dementia are all illnesses that would warrant this style of medical care.

Don’t allow finances to be a determining factor in the decision making process. All families deserve care and support during this difficult time and many hospice facilities offer flexible payment options that allow people from many different financial backgrounds to be eligible for hospice care.

If you feel hospice care is a good fit you you and your family, ProCare Hospice of Nevada may be the right choice. The nurses and staff are dedicated to providing comfort and support to all the patients. They strive to give patients the best experience possible. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

What is Hospice Care?

What is Hospice Care?

A grim reality of the human life cycle is that everyone will get old. The body will decay and betray you, while the mind may confuse or mislead you. When that time comes, assistance is available in the form of various inpatient and outpatient medical treatments, as well as counseling services.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it is normal to want to throw in the towel. However, if it feels like you have exhausted all treatment options, hospice care may be your best last resort. Read on to find out how hospice care works and how it can provide comfort and support to you and the people in your life who matter most.

 

What is it?

Hospice care is a style of health care that is geared toward people nearing the end of their life, usually with some form of terminal illness. These types of care services are provided by a team of medical professionals who strive to maximize comfort for terminally ill patients by reducing pain. This is done by addressing the full spectrum of physical, psychological, social and spiritual concerns that a patient may have.

Hospice care significantly differs from that of standard medical care, because it is not attempting to cure the underlying condition or illness troubling a patient. The primary goal is to encourage the highest quality of life possible for the remainder of a patient’s time with their family.

Who can benefit?

This style of medical care is designed for a terminally ill individual whose remaining life expectancy is typically six months or less. Of course, care will continue to be provided if a patient’s life expectancy is longer than this, as long as the primary care physician is able to certify that the condition is still life-limiting.

Hospice care has been shown to help people with diseases like cancer, heart disease, dementia and kidney failure feel better and live longer.

Where can you find it?

Hospice is available with inpatient and outpatient care structures. Most hospice care is provided in the patient’s home as outpatient care. This form of hospice care is a pleasant option for a patient if he or she would prefer to receive care in the comfort of a familiar environment, with a family remember typically serving as the primary caregiver. Inpatient care, which is when the patient resides in a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility, may be more ideal if committing to a full-time care schedule is out of the question.

No matter what option you and your family choose, remember to be flexible and remain realistic. Checking in to or out of different types of facilities may be necessary to maintain the extended health of you or your loved one.

If you feel hospice care is a good fit you you and your family, ProCare Hospice of Nevada may be the right choice. The nurses and staff are dedicated to providing comfort and support to all the patients. They strive to give patients the best experience possible. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

Choosing the Right Hospice Provider

Choosing the Right Hospice Provider

There are many different factors that should be considered when one is faced with choosing the right hospice care provider for your patient or loved one. It can be a daunting task that adds unwanted stress to an already stressful situation.

 

What is hospice?

Hospice is a holistic approach to healthcare, that focuses on improving the quality of life for people who are facing terminal illnesses. Home hospice is an option for families and caregivers, with a more flexible availability that warrants long periods of time spent with the patient. If this is not feasible for you, consider community hospice providers. This full time option offers the benefit of staff members, who have the skills and training to constantly care for patients nearing the end of their life.

Since all hospice agencies are mandated to follow certain Medicare guidelines, you can rest assured your patient or family member is in good hands. All hospices provide the same basic services to patients but there are many factors to consider when choosing a hospice care provider.

Location

If home hospice is your choice, it’s important to know how far away the on-call nurses live from a patient. In the event emergency care is needed, how quickly a hospice agency’s nurses can respond is imperative to the extended health of a patient.

Quality

Hospice agencies receive a customer quality score, which is the percentage of people who have rated their hospice online as giving quality care. Websites like Where to Find Care offer databases of care providers by state. You can use these tools to compare scores and choose the best hospice care for your patient or loved one.

Levels of care offered

Routine home care, comfort care, respite care and inpatient care are all different levels of care available to a patient. The style of these types of hospice care range from periodic in-home check ups to around the clock supervision inside a nursing home or hospital. Consider the level of care your patient requires before committing to one hospice care provider.

Hospice staff

All hospice agencies are mandated by Medicare to have physician participation, nursing services, social services, home health aid services and spiritual care. The quality and quantity of these healthcare providers can vary greatly from one facility to the next, so research the composition of the staff to ensure the specific needs of your patient are met.

Recommendations

If you are seeking hospice care for a family member or a loved one, always consider the recommendations of their primary care physicians, friends, family and other acquaintances. These people are valuable sources of information that can help determine whether a patient will get along with a hospice provider on a personal level.

While you conduct your hospice care search, don’t forget to consider ProCare Hospice of Nevada may be the right choice. The nurses and staff are dedicated to providing comfort and support to all the patients. They strive to give patients the best experience possible. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

Understanding the Caregiver Role

Understanding the Caregiver Role

When someone unexpectedly becomes ill in your family, you might get thrown into the role of caregiver. Even if your loved one gets put in a hospice, he or she should still have a primary family caregiver. The hospice can provide guidance and support, but nothing can compare to the love they will receive from family members. Caregivers are typically spouses, adult children or trusted friends. If you don’t have any medical training, being a caregiver might be more difficult. How do you effectively fulfill the role as a caregiver?

Keep a journal

 

Write everything down in a journal. Write down names of nurses, lab results, appointments, medication, etc. Any information that is vital for the patient, keep it recorded. This way, you can efficiently keep track of everything. Instead of trying to remember what the doctor said, it will already be written down so you won’t forget. This will ultimately keep you sane, as you could easily drive yourself crazy trying to remember every little detail.

Be patient

When someone is ill and in need of a caregiver, it means they can’t be fully independent and self-sufficient. Your loved one will likely be frustrated, which can lead to lashing out. No matter what illness your loved one is suffering from, you need to be patient with them. They are in a horrible situation and being angry right back at them could make things worse. You shouldn’t take anything personally. As it’s simply the illness talking.

Be realistic

Depending on the severity of the illness, your loved one might not be able to perform simple tasks. You need to understand their physical limitations and design the proper environment around them. If they are paralyzed from the waist down, convert the house to be wheelchair accessible. This can reduce stress for the both of you. If your loved one is still capable of doing some things on their own, encourage them. Don’t do something for them if they are able to do it themselves, this will limit their recovery.

Have a strong constitution

Some of things you might have to help with won’t be very pleasant. Often times, caregivers have to deal with bodily fluids, wound care, bathing and other personal hygiene routines. If your loved one is staying in a hospice, nurses can take care of these matters. But if your loved one is staying at home, the nurse won’t always be there. This is an awkward situation for both the caregiver and the patient, but it is important that you help without shaming your loved one.

Be reliable

You need to be available to help your loved one whenever they need it. They are sick, can’t do much for themselves, and are relying on you to get their medication or rides to doctor appointments. It is imperative that you are always on time and not slacking on any of your responsibilities. If something isn’t done properly, it could cost your loved one’s life.

If you do decide to place your love one in a hospice, ProCare Hospice of Nevada may be the right choose. The nurses and staff are dedicated to providing comfort and support to all the patients. They strive to give patients the best experience possible. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

Difference Between Hospice Care and Pallative Care

Difference Between Hospice Care and Pallative Care

It is important to know the difference between hospice care and palliative care to make an informative decision. Palliative care helps patients through their journey. From the initial diagnosis and hope for a cure, to hospice and hope for care, palliative care will help patients every step of the way. Meanwhile, hospice care is for patients that acknowledge there a lack of medical treatments available, and have had enough. Hospice care provides the opposite treatment as conventional medicine, as patients are not given aggressive or curative treatments, but they are given comfort.

Benefits of hospice care

For Americans, the concept of dying can be very difficult to grasp. The medical system also has a hard time grasping the concept of dying. Medical professionals are trained to save lives, not let people die. It can be an ongoing stress trying to fight an incurable disease. Once you’ve finally made the realization that there is nothing more that can be done, you are ready for hospice care. This can provide great relief for you and your family, as you will no longer have to worry about finding a clinical trial or another drug.

Hospice care is beneficial for patients in so many ways. The patient has the ability to stay wherever they want, because hospice care can be provided at home. Patients also have the option of getting cared for in a nursing home. The medical professionals in nursing homes provide comfort, symptom control, pain management, emotional support and spiritual support. The main goal of hospice care is to provide the patient with whatever he or she needs.

Hospice care is beneficial to both the patient and the family. The patient can relax and live life as they please, and the family is not burdened with extra stress. The cost of hospice care can also be a relief for families, as it is much more affordable than constantly being in and out of hospitals.

Issues of palliative care

Symptom control is one of the biggest issues right now in palliative care, as it can be difficult providing efficient symptom control for patients that are not dying. If someone is on the transplant list for a new heart and experiencing a lot of pain or shortness of breath, many types of drugs can make the cardiac symptoms worse. It’s a balancing act to maintain symptom control without worsening it.

There is also the principle of the double effect, which means that a person may be terminally ill and experiencing severe dyspnea. There is a drug that can help them breathe easier, but it could also accelerate their death. However, double effect does allow medical professionals at hospice care centers to give patients the drug. Nurses would give patients the drug with the intention of easing their discomfort, not with the intention of speeding up their death.

If you or someone you love is in need of hospice care, consider ProCare Hospice of Nevada. The medical professionals are available 24 hours a day to provide the best possible care. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.