Men and women want to peacefully leave this earth surrounded by loved ones. Thanks to advances in medical care, achieving this goal has become easier in recent years. They can stay in the comfort of their own home and pass away on their terms.
With the help of home based hospice care, the patient’s quality of life improves, and financial resources are saved when this option is selected. For this reason, palliative care and home-based hospice care need to be expanded.
Understanding Palliative and End-of-Life Care
The World Health Organization defines palliative care as an end-of-life approach that improves the quality of life of the patient and their family. It accomplishes this by preventing and relieving the suffering of the individual with the help of early identification and assessment. The palliative team works to alleviate pain and other symptoms while addressing all needs of the patient using a holistic approach. People of any age benefit from palliative care when they have a terminal illness. The palliative care team provides a support system to ensure the person’s final days are as peaceful as possible. Furthermore, the team assists the family through this difficult time and during their bereavement. The team typically steps in when medical professionals have determined the individual has less than 12 months to live.
The Importance of Palliative Care
Over the years, more people have opted to remain in the comfort of their own homes during their final days. They find solace in being surrounded by their loved ones and familiar things. Primary care physicians play an important role in arranging this care, and more needs to be done to ensure people have their dying wishes met. Although most individuals accessing this care are seniors, people of any age who have a terminal illness can benefit from the services offered through hospice and palliative care.
The Benefits of Palliative Care
Utilizing hospice and palliative care helps to reduce hospital stays and the associated costs. In addition, research shows patients making use of palliative care visit the emergency room less frequently than those receiving traditional care. This frees up hospital resources for others who may need the level of care that can only be provided in this setting.
As the time of death nears, these individuals choose to remain at home. The researchers compared individuals who access palliative care in the last 90 days of life versus those who began using the services sooner. They found those in the former group visited the emergency room more often than those who connected with their support team earlier in the illness.
When to Request Hospice and Palliative Care
Researchers have studied various aspects of palliative care and found that early intervention provides the best outcomes in many areas. Proactive care may be provided for individuals of all ages, including young children suffering from a terminal illness. The care team helps to reduce hospital admissions and the associated costs. In addition, those that were hospitalized while under the care of a palliative team spent fewer days in the hospital and more time at home with loved ones.
Hospice and palliative care teams become of great help during a person’s final days. Individuals don’t need to wait until their time is near. Anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness may request this support. Medical professionals need to talk with patients to ensure they understand the benefits of doing so. Everyone deserves the highest quality of life as their life comes to an end, and hospice and palliative care professionals ensure this is what they have.