Hospice Care in Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing.” 

When you or a family member is suffering from a terminal illness, making decisions can be tough. That’s why it’s important to know the facts ahead of time so you’ll feel more prepared when that time comes.

Many of us think of hospice care as something that’s done in the home. But hospice can also be an excellent option if your home is in a skilled nursing facility

In this article, we’ll talk about hospice care in nursing homes. What it is and how it can benefit you or a loved one.

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is all about the quality of life in the final days of a terminal illness. Caregivers focus on easing pain and offering support. 

Rather than trying to heal the disease, hospice care providers manage symptoms. This form of healthcare is called palliative care and it’s a holistic way of caring for a patient. 

Caregivers come up with a care plan based on how the patient is dealing with pain, symptoms, and mental stress. The main goal is to allow the patient to feel as comfortable as possible yet still be mentally aware. This way they can enjoy their family and friends in their final days. 

How Hospice Helps Nursing Home Residents

It’s true that many people choose to be at home while they are under hospice care. But that’s not always an option. Nursing home residents can benefit greatly from hospice care when the time comes. 

Residents who choose to have hospice care receive regular visits from a hospice nurse that’s specially trained in end-of-life care. Hospice nurses have experience dealing with issues like trouble breathing, swallowing, and severe pain. 

The hospice service often provides a social worker to help answer questions and fill out paperwork. Counseling services are also available to help them deal with stress and depression. They may also give suggestions for certain dietary or therapy needs that might make the resident more comfortable. 

Hospice caregivers also provide a level of emotional support that is unique to those facing the end of their lives. A compassionate voice and someone to listen helps the resident to deal with the physical and mental pain. 

How Hospice Helps Family Members

Not only does hospice care benefit those who are ill, but it also benefits friends and family members too. There are counseling services available for loved ones to help them come to terms with the situation. 

The social worker or nurse will schedule regular meetings to keep the family informed about the day to day status of their loved one. These meetings offer a place where you can voice your opinion about treatment and ask questions. 

If your family is spiritual, there is often spiritual counseling available too. In fact, many hospice services offer bereavement care for after your loved one passes away. Family members can receive counseling and support for up to a year after the death. 

More Info About Hospice Care in Nursing Homes

If you’re interested in getting more information about hospice care in nursing homes, give us a call today. St. William’s Living Center works with some excellent hospice partners on a regular basis. 

We’re here to help you and your family get through the difficult times. And the supportive, end-of-life care provided by a hospice service might be just what you need.