Home Hospice Tips
When considering home hospice, families are often unsure about what to expect. Hospice is a great service with many great nurses, doctors, caregivers, and team members. However, when tasked with providing athome hospice care many families lack the experience needed to make informed choices.
What do we know about hospice care?
Abby Services of Fort Myers and Cape Coral has been helping families find caregivers to assist with in-home care since 1997. With the help of a private professional caregiver, individuals can have the in-home care and support they want and need to remain safe and supported.
Abby Services is owned and operated by a former hospice nurse Scott Strachan. Through his experience as a nurse and caregiver, Scott is able to help provide the insight and support to help guide families seeking home hospice care.
Top 3 hospice tips from a former hospice nurse.
Home Hospice tip #1: Hospice is a resource, use it.
Hospice is a valuable resource. However, it can only assist those willing to receive their support. Hospice has an undeserved stigma to many that leads them to refuse to seek the support hospice provides.
While this stigma is understandable, families should genuinely consider the benefits hospice provides. The benefits of hospice should be considered when appropriate and available. This is especially true for in-home hospice.
To be considered a candidate for hospice care an individual requires a doctor to certify their illness is terminal and that they have 6 months to live.
This can be a difficult reality to confront however these guidelines can be fluid. It is recommended that families have a conversation with a hospice professional to discuss their specific situation.
Scott Strachan reports that he has had hospice patients who have received hospice care for years. Families also have to recognize that should they choose, they can stop hospice care at any point and resume traditional treatment.
Home Hospice tip #2: Hospice can provide many necessary supplies. Here are the supplies many families don't consider.
Hospice provides many supplies necessary for an individual’s care and comfort. Having access to these supplies is especially important for those receiving at home hospice care.
Even with all of the materials and support provided by hospice, there are common items that can help families providing home hospice care that are not provided. These items can help create a calm, comfortable, safe atmosphere for those receiving home hospice care.
- Sound Machines: Sound machines generate white noise. They can mask outside noises. When in use they promote a calm restful environment that limits outside disturbances and interruptions.
- Baby Monitor: Baby monitors are cheap and effective ways for families and caregivers to monitor a home hospice patient without ‘hovering”. Baby monitors allow hospice caregivers to monitor an individual’s safety and needs from a distance.
- Scent: Scent plays a major role in creating a calm and restful environment. Scent can be managed with candles, scent diffusers, or other products. The importance of scent should be considered when planning home hospice.
- Baby Powder: Many receiving home hospice may be bed-bound or have limited mobility. This can be uncomfortable and make an individual restless. Baby powder can help to promote comfort and is something many fail to consider.
- Bell on clothespin: This is something Scott Strachan learned as a private caregiver. The purpose of the bell and clothespin is similar to a baby monitor. They both allow hospice caregivers to monitor their patients without being physically present at the bedside. Falls can quickly and easily happen without warning. A clothespin with a bell attached to blankets or sheets notifies a caregiver when a hospice patient moves. This can notify the caregiver if an individual needs their attention when a patient does not or can not communicate their need for support.
- Pillows, pillows, pillows: A core focus of hospice care is comfort. Individuals receiving home hospice care may need frequent repositioning to promote comfort and rest and minimize injury. This often requires more pillows than are commonly used. Having pillows available can help your home hospice caregiver provide excellent support.
Home Hospice tip #3: Hospice cant do it all.
The care, attention, support, and resources provided by hospice are amazing. That being said, those receiving in-home hospice care may require more support than is provided by hospice.
Additional care and support may be provided by a spouse, friend, or family member. When an individual requires more care (or a family member providing support needs more rest) a private professional in-home caregiver may be considered.