What happens when a loved one is placed on Hospice? What does it mean for my family, and how does it work? These are common questions that come up when a loved one has been “put on hospice.” Below, these questions and more will help to guide you through the steps of hospice, and how to navigate the journey with your family.

Sometimes towards the end of the aging process, a person’s body may stop responding to treatment, and this is usually a sign doctors look for when considering hospice. Being placed on hospice means that the person has roughly less than six months to live. Once the doctor has recommended hospice services, a trained nurse will complete an assessment to see if the person is eligible for services. When services are approved, hospice can assist with many issues that stem from end-of-life care.

hospice family care support adviceHospice Family Care Support Helps with:

  • Symptom management and medication administration
  • Weekly duties such as bathing and routine assessments
  • Providing counseling and spiritual advisement for grieving family
  • Provide or arrange transportation if needed to medical facilities

In general, hospice exists to ease the pain of a loved one in the end-of-life- stages. This helps an overwhelmed family deal with the inevitability of loss. Palliative-trained nurses can help to create a plan, alleviate pain, and guide the family through the stages of death and grief. Even if your loved one already has in-home care services, hospice is an incredible supplemental service. It can greatly benefit your loved one and family.

During the Transition

In the active stages of dying, hospice will be nearby to help the client and the family during transition. There are signs that a dying body will present with, and hospice nurses are trained to recognize them. Once the client’s body begins the transition, medications are usually administered to ensure that the transition is a painless one. Family is then encouraged to be with the family member until they pass away.

Directly after passing, and after the family has spent time with their loved one, the hospice nurse will perform post-mortem care. The family may participate as much as they would like, or not participate at all. The death must also be officially pronounced, and then arrangements that were made beforehand are put into place, such as a call to the funeral home to begin preparations for the body.

Hospice Family Support

Of course, every family may have different traditions peppered in, depending on spiritual or religious preferences. Hospice welcomes and encourages families to surround the loved one and participate as much as possible in any and all activities involving their loved one during the final transition. Reach out to your local hospice care professionals should you have any more questions for your family or loved ones.

Are you or a loved one looking for help at home? My Choice Home Care is a senior home care service company that serves clients in Macon, Jackson, and Haywood Counties in North Carolina. Counties served in Georgia are Rabun, Towns, and Habersham. Counties served in Upstate South Carolina are Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson. Email us or call (828) 200-9000 to speak to someone today if you or a loved one would like to enjoy the benefits of living independently in your own home. We offer a free Senior Care Options guide to help you navigate Medicare, Medicaid and other programs for seniors.