An important, yet less recognized area of the healthcare system in America is hospice service. Devoted to helping patients who are suffering from terminal illnesses and those approaching the end of their lives, hospice services don’t get the love they deserve.
Unless you’ve had your loved one or a close friend admitted into a hospice facility, you may not quite appreciate the importance of hospice services in healthcare. Using a team approach to provide physical, emotional, spiritual and practical support, hospice care focuses on both the patient and family to ensure the patient’s life goals are met. So, why do these services deserve more recognition?
When your loved one has reached a point where hospice care is needed you want them to keep hold of their personhood and integrity. Hospice care enables them to spend their remaining time with these two aspects of life still intact. They are not only medically necessary but also humane. It’s a shame that most people shy away from the idea of enrolling their loved ones into these services. This is largely due to ignorance and misconceptions.
Unknown to many, hospice services are covered by Medicare and Medicaid. In the cases where the patient is ineligible, the services are still relatively affordable. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the average amount of money paid per hospice patient is $150 per day. Although this can be relatively higher for intensive care, it is far more economical than the average cost of a single hospital stay. If you are mindful about finances, there is every reason to enroll your loved ones into hospice services when the time comes.
Many patients who suffer from terminal illnesses are often in severe pain. While curative treatment focusses on attempting to eliminate the disease completely, hospice care offers more effective and aggressive treatment focused on lowering pain and making life more comfortable. The quality of life for patients under hospice care is obviously better.
This is an aspect of hospice care which is underrated. Hospice professionals offer incredible help with emotional and spiritual distress for both the patient and the family. This goes a long way in ensuring the two parties come to terms with reality. The counsel and support offered helps the patients regain their internal peace and tranquility. Although these are services which are offered in hospitals, the magnitude and quality do not quite match that of those offered by hospices.
These services may not change the fate of a patient, but they will improve the quality of life they lead and consequently increase the number of days the patient will be able to spend with their loved ones. Hospice doesn’t alter the mortality rate by any means but they help prolong life.
Hospice services deserve more love and recognition than they are getting right now. They are the healthcare sector concerned that primarily focuses with improving the quality of life of individual patients, improves the outcomes of care for the population served, and has lowered the costs of services.