When a patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness the next step may feel overwhelming. While many patients want to seek additional treatment or second opinions, some patients prefer to choose hospice comfort care instead. Some hospitals do offer hospice care on-site, but most often patients seek comfort care at a hospice or other outside facility. Here’s what you need to know:
Hospice comfort care is primarily focused on managing the symptoms of the patient’s illness and allowing them to be as comfortable as possible during their final weeks or months. By contrast, hospitals are set up to cure illnesses, often by using experimental procedures or extreme measures to reach that end. Many of these treatments are known to make patients more uncomfortable in the short term for the possibility of prolonging life. For patients who are not interested in these rigorous and taxing treatments, comfort care is best found elsewhere.
For patients suffering from a terminal illness, there tend to be many unpleasant side-effects. These include nausea, vomiting, seizures, respiratory problems and more. The focus of hospice comfort care is to alleviate these symptoms so the patient can enjoy a restful end-of-life, and spend more time with family and friends.
There are many important factors in finding quality comfort care, but one of the biggest clues to look for is a hospice facility that is willing to be flexible and understanding with your loved one. Since the goal of comfort care is to make the patient as comfortable as possible, you want to be sure the hospice staff is listening to patient requests and responding accordingly. While hospice facilities do have some limitations, they are generally better able to serve patients by creating individualized comfort care packages that meet the needs of their patients better than a busy hospital. You should also be sure to ask the hospice what treatments they offer and if there are any symptoms they do not treat.
To learn more about hospice comfort care options near you visit Wings of Hope online today or call to speak with one of our patient care specialists. Our hospice facility is keenly focused on providing the highest level of comfort and care possible to all our patients and we invite families to visit to see the difference between this type of care and standard hospital care options.