No one person can serve the needs of hospice patients
Hospice care covers a wide spectrum of needs, more than any one person is capable of. Fortunately, this care is broken up among teams of trained professionals. For those who are unfamiliar with just how hospice works, here is the breakdown of a typical team, from a South Town Star article:
A hospice care team includes professionals, paraprofessionals and volunteers who are sensitive and responsive to individual patient and family needs:
• Physicians work with the patient’s attending physician and are available for pain and symptom management consultation or house calls, as needed.
• Nurses skilled in assessing and managing pain and other symptoms, as well as providing hands-on care.
• Social workers are sympathetic listeners providing emotional support and help with financial issues and planning.
• Hospice aides help with personal care, such as bathing and mouth care, light housekeeping, light laundry and occasional shopping.
• Chaplains work with the family’s clergy, offering spiritual support.
• Volunteers are trained to spend time with the patient when they are needed most.
• Bereavement specialists provide grief counseling, memorial services and other support for family and friends after the patient has died.
As you can see, the team covers the full gamut of services from physical to emotional, and takes into consideration not only the patient, but also family and loved ones as well. It is because of this thorough support that hospice care is consistently found to be one of the most effective forms of care for those living with terminal illness.