When you hear the word “hospice,” you may think that your loved one’s death is imminent within the next week or so. As our case managers at 1776 Senior Care will tell you, that’s not necessarily the case.
Inevitably as we near the final phase of our caregiving journey with a particular client, we will speak with their son or daughter about when to call hospice. We know it’s difficult to watch the overall physical and mental decline in a parent. There’s a lot of emotional stress you may be feeling during this time, especially if your loved one has been back and forth to the hospital more than ever.
However, let’s take a step back for a moment – you may be putting the weight of the world on your shoulders in making this decision, but it’s not one you’re making alone.
Let’s talk about what it truly means for the caregiving experience going forward once the decision is made to bring in hospice, how the 1776 team remains involved and what you can expect.
Signs Of When To Call Hospice
Physically, there are several signs a 1776 caregiver will look for in a senior before recommending hospice be brought in. These include a sudden change in weight loss, shallower face, paler skin tone or the client simply not eating or drinking as much as they used to.
In addition, there is a list of terminal illnesses to ensure the senior is automatically eligible for hospice care. A primary care or geriatric physician will perform an entire assessment to provide greater clarity as to your parent’s hospice eligibility.
If hospice is necessary, you now have another organization that can give you additional resources to address the symptoms that may be negatively impacting your parent. For example, they can directly assist with additional devices or a hospital bed. They can provide a nurse on call to be with your loved one regularly – whether a few times a week or more frequently as needed. If an emergency arises, you can speak with that nurse directly. And if you’re wondering about expenses associated with hospice care, rest assured that Medicare covers the cost through insurance.
1776’s Role Grows During The Hospice Phase
The addition of a new care provider in the form of a hospice nurse doesn’t mean our role at 1776 Senior Care decreases. In fact, it’s just the opposite – it’s a time when one of our caregivers will step up and become even more involved.
For example, if your parent has to be in the hospital for several hours or more, a caregiver and social worker will go with to be an advocate for them, ensuring they’re getting the proper care and support. After all, if you’re like many family members of our seniors, you may not be in close proximity to get to the hospital right away. So it’s good to know that the people who have been with your parent every day, acting as their second family, is there by their side to provide a comforting presence they need.
Even at the end of life, 1776’s caregivers and care managers will be present at the funeral or wake of a senior who has passed. We frequently say that we’ve adopted that senior as a member of our family and really, they’ve adopted us too.
Your Communication Pipeline
As the son or daughter of someone in hospice care, it’s vital to keep our lines of communication open and strong during this time so that you can be involved in all crucial decisions. 1776 will do that through:
- Care log notes that family members can check daily through our online portal – these notes come directly from our caregivers throughout the day or at the end of their shifts, so that you can gain access in real-time.
- Phone calls from care managers to family members
- Family meetings in person with care managers and caregivers
It’s our combination of “High-Tech, High Touch” in which technology backs up everything we are as an emotional support system.
If you have a parent who may be entering hospice care soon or is currently in that phase but wants to continue to live life on their terms, talk to 1776 Senior Care about how we can help bring joy to their life while bringing peace of mind to yours. Speak to one of 1776’s experts about scheduling an In-Home Assessment with you today at 630.469.4515.