An interdisciplinary health care team manages hospice
care. This means that many interacting disciplines work together to
care for the patient. Doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, home
health aides, clergy, therapists, and trained volunteers care for you.
Each of these people offers support based on their special areas of
expertise. Together, they give you and your loved ones complete comfort
and palliative care aimed at relieving symptoms and giving social,
emotional, and spiritual support.
and symptom control
The goal of pain and symptom control is to help you be comfortable
while allowing you to stay in control of and enjoy your life. This
means that side effects are managed to make sure that you are as free
of pain and symptoms as possible, yet still alert enough to enjoy the
people around you and make important decisions.
Hospice care also tends to your spiritual needs. Since people differ in
their spiritual needs and religious beliefs, spiritual care is set up
to meet your specific needs. It may include helping you to look at what
death means to you, helping you say good-bye, or helping with a certain
religious ceremony or ritual.
care and inpatient care
Although hospice care can be centered in the home, you may need to be
admitted to a hospital, extended-care facility, or a hospice inpatient
facility. The hospice can arrange for inpatient care and will stay
involved in your care and with your family. You can go back to in-home
care when you and your family are ready.
While you are in hospice, your family and caregivers may need some time
away.. Hospice service may offer them a break through respite care,
which is often offered in up to 5-day periods. During this time you
will be cared for either in the hospice facility or in beds that are
set aside for this in nursing homes or hospitals. Families can plan a
mini-vacation, go to special events, or simply get much-needed rest at
home while you are cared for in an inpatient setting.
Through regularly scheduled family conferences, often led by the
hospice nurse or social worker, family members can stay informed about
your condition and what to expect. Family conferences also give you all
a chance to share feelings, talk about expectations, and learn about
death and the process of dying. Family members can find great support
and stress relief through family conferences. Conferences may also be
done informally on a daily basis as the nurse or nursing assistant
talks with you and your caregivers during their routine visits.
Death can be a painful and permanent loss experience, and one of the
hardest from which to recover. Death takes away, but facing it and
grieving can result in peace, new strengths and purpose. Grief is a
normal response to loss. Often the most painful loss is the death of a
person you love, whether from a long illness or from an accident or an
act of violence.
• Bereavement is the period after a loss during which grief is
experienced and mourning occurs. The time spent in a period of
bereavement depends on how attached the person was to the person who
died, and how much time was spent anticipating the loss.
• Mourning is the process by which people adapt to a loss.
Mourning is also influenced by cultural customs, rituals and
society’s rules for coping with the loss.
Our grief and bereavement services at Arizona Family Hospice can help
you understand the grief you and others in your family may feel after a
death, whether sudden or anticipated.
Hospice volunteers play an important role in planning and giving
hospice care in the United States. Volunteers may be health
professionals or lay people who provide services that range from
hands-on care to working in the hospice office or fundraising.
Hospice care staff members are kind and caring. They communicate well,
are good listeners, and are interested in working with families who are
coping with a life-threatening illness. They are usually specially
trained in the unique issues surrounding death and dying.
The interdisciplinary team coordinates and supervises all care 7 days a
week, 24 hours a day. This team is responsible for making sure that all
involved services share information. This may include the inpatient
facility, the home care agency, the doctor, and other community
professionals, such as pharmacists, clergy, and funeral directors. You
and your caregivers are encouraged to contact your hospice team if you
are having a problem, any time of the day or night. There is always
someone on call to help you with whatever may arise. Hospice care
assures you and your family that you are not alone and help can be
reached at any time.