Transitioning from hospital to hospice care at home tends to be emotionally challenging for patients and their families. Understanding the right time to make this transition and the criteria involved can significantly impact the quality of life for the patient and the dynamics within the family.
The decision to transition from hospital to hospice care often comes after a patient’s medical condition has progressed to an advanced stage where curative treatments are no longer effective or desired. The usual guidelines show that the transition can happen when a patient has a life expectancy of six months or less, as a healthcare professional estimates. However, it’s important to note that this is not a strict timeline, and individual cases may vary.
Whose decision is it?
Doctors recommend the transition to hospice care by assessing the patient’s condition, prognosis, and overall well-being. However, the decision ultimately rests with the patient and their family. It is fundamental for patients to have open discussions with their healthcare providers about their goals, preferences, and quality-of-life concerns to make an informed choice.
How does hospice care differ from hospital care?
While hospitals focus on providing medical treatments aimed at curing illnesses, hospice care concentrates on the quality of life for patients with progressive illnesses. We emphasize pain management, symptom control, emotional support, and spiritual care, all delivered in the comfort of the patient’s home.
Transitioning to hospice care impacts the family routine in several ways. Family members often take on a more active role in caregiving, working closely with hospice professionals to ensure the patient’s comfort. This change can affect daily schedules, responsibilities, and emotional well-being. However, hospice services support family caregivers, offering education, counseling, and respite care to ease the journey.
The next step in care
Transitioning a hospice patient means ensuring a seamless shift from hospital-based care to a compassionate and supportive environment at home. It involves setting up a comprehensive hospice care plan tailored to the patient’s specific needs, coordinating various aspects of care, including medication management, equipment needs, and regular visits from a multidisciplinary hospice team for medical, emotional, and spiritual support, ensuring that the patient’s wishes and comfort remain a priority.
At Ascend Hospice Care, transitioning from hospital to home care involves careful consideration of the patient’s medical condition, personalized care plan, and care preferences and wishes. We work alongside everyone involved to provide comfort and dignity in the final stages of life.