As you and your family take special care of your loved one who is at the end of their life, you might have many questions for your doctors and insurance company. One of those questions is about hospice care. Bringing your loved one for special in-home palliative care helps to relieve their symptoms and give them and your family social, emotional, and spiritual support. Hospice nurses make regular visits to see your loved one and, if there is an emergency or questions arise, they can be available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But what about the critical medical equipment that is found at your loved one’s hospital bed? Can you have your home equipped with similar medical equipment and, if so, who will provide it? The answer is yes, medical equipment can be delivered to you once your hospice nurse assesses your individual needs. The hospice provider might provide it, or it may be available for rental. The most common medical equipment used in hospice care is oxygen equipment (including ventilators), a full electric hospital bed, Bi-Pap and C-Pap machines, alternating air pressure mattresses, bedside commodes, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, blood pressure monitors, nebulizers, and disposable gloves, dressings, and wet wipes.
No need to worry about setting up the equipment. It will be delivered to your home and assembled by a highly trained medical equipment vendor. The hospice nurse and their team will make sure you are provided with additional necessary supplies for your loved one’s particular needs. You’ll also receive training on the safety and effective use of your equipment and all questions will be answered by the hospice nurse. You’ll get operating instructions and learn what to do in case you have a problem or need safety precautions. When the hospice equipment is no longer needed, your hospice team will make the necessary arrangements to have it picked up and returned by the supply company.
Before the medical equipment arrives at your home, you’ll want to ensure that the patient and caregivers have the utmost safety and convenience for assembling it. Look around your home and remove any extra furniture that might get in the way of the medical equipment. You may need to store a desk or chair in the basement for the time being. Remove throw rugs and any other tripping hazards from your hallways and rooms. If your home is bi-level or has steps, think about implementing a movable ramp. Purchase nightlights to illuminate your corridors, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Check the patient’s room to see how many outlets are there. You might need to purchase an extra electric powerstrip and surge protectors or longer cords. In addition, research good contractors who can quickly install non-slip bathmats in the tub and add grab bars to help your loved one move easily in and out of the shower.
Benefits of hospice care
Why is hospice care so well-liked? When a terminally ill patient and their family turn to in-home patient care, they are guaranteed privacy and comfortable accommodations, all overseen by a home health care provider. When they need that extra blanket, it’s there. If they would like someone’s support, a family member can be at their side and hold their hand. They can enjoy being surrounded by photos and other memorabilia from their life and loved ones. They’ll enjoy the rest, comfort, familiarity, and peace of their own home. Hospice nurses are trained to provide pain and symptom management. They can take care of a patient’s personal care and hygiene. Not only do they supply health care and treatment of symptoms but bring necessary supplies such as adult diapers and bed pads. When the family caregiver needs a break, the hospice team takes over. They also offer support services to the patient’s family, such as education, emotional, and spiritual support. The hospice team can also help answer financial questions.
At Wings of Hope, our goal is to work with families and their loved ones to address issues of serious illnesses, death, and grief, be the leading community resource for them, and maximize everyone’s quality of life. Our team works collaboratively with our patients and their families to help smooth out the challenges of a life-ending disease and live each day more fully. We believe we’re the eyes and ears in caring for your loved ones. We understand what they might be experiencing during the various stages of their condition and will help them through it.
Hospice care is not just for the elderly. Children who have advanced stages of disease might prefer to be taken home and have hospice care. We also participate in a special program for veterans, in which we offer compassionate inquiry, respectful listening, and grateful acknowledgement. Studies have shown that hospice patients have improved outcomes in their pain levels and depression, as well as increased patient and family satisfaction.
Wings of Hope is honored to be a guiding light to our patients and their families. We are available 24 hours a day, providing the support, resources, and comfort that you need. Our comprehensive customized services include nutritional guidance, such as menu planning; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; and special therapies such as offering music and massage or bringing a therapy dog to the patient. Our philosophy is that hospice is not a specific place, but is rather about providing care that focuses on the highest level of comfort and quality of life. With comfort comes peace of mind and the enrichment of our time here.
If you plan to bring your loved one home for hospice care, you won’t be alone. While you’ll have many questions and it can be a challenge, you’ll find that your loved one will thank you for taking their feelings into account and giving them comfort in their neediest time.