As a patient or a loved one of a patient, hearing the term “hospice” out of a doctor’s mouth can trigger a range of emotions. Whether the word invokes sadness, anger, or concern, being admitted to hospice care is a reality for many.
Over the course of my career as a hospice care clinical social worker, I have witnessed feelings of defeat in the eyes of patients newly admitted. This is often due to several myths that individuals hold about hospice care, one of those being that hospice care hastens the dying process. The truth is that patients do not die quicker due to being admitted onto hospice. For many patients, their quality of life improves, something that many lose while seeking aggressive treatment. This is because the goal of care typically changes from curing the patient’s disease to alleviating the patient’s symptoms and discomforts.
When the focus of care transitions to managing pain and addressing uncomfortable symptoms, this allows patients the opportunity to meaningfully participate in their lives and engage with loved ones. After a few weeks or even days of a patient being on hospice, I often notice that the initial feelings of defeat I observed in the patient gradually turn to feelings of relief and peace. These same patients will frequently mention that they wished they had admitted to hospice sooner, as the services had given them the opportunity to enjoy life again.
At Caring Seasons Health, each patient has a dedicated care team committed to helping improve their quality of life through meeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. We also understand that the effects of a serious illness aren’t limited to the patient. Caring Seasons Health provides various services to loved ones of patients including caregiver resources, compassionate volunteers, and spiritual support, to name a few. If you or your loved one is faced with the possibility of needing hospice care services, let Caring Seasons Health put you at ease. Our experienced team can be reached at 803.369.6255.
Alli Turner, MSW, LISW-CP