Getting Help Through Hospice
In an ideal world, we’d all pass away peacefully in our sleep at a ripe old age. This, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. Thankfully, you can find help through the inevitable end-of-life transition with hospice. There’s a time to fight for life and a time to let go. This pandemic underscored how sad it is to pass without loved ones by our side. Valiant doctors and nurses do all they can to comfort their patients. Hopefully, after this pandemic passes, we’ll return to a more natural scenario, surrounded by those we love.
The Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) explains that hospice care helps people with a terminal illness “live as well as possible for as long as possible, increasing the quality of life.” Once it’s deemed by a doctor or health care professional that a patient has less than six months to live or is ready to forego future medical treatments that might prolong their life, they may contact hospice services.
The hospice care team, which might include a nurse, doctor, medical social worker and/or spiritual counselor, provides physical therapy, grief counseling, dietary advice and pain relief. They visit the patient in their home, hospital or other assisted living arrangement to help manage some of the stress experienced by patients and loved ones going through this trying transition. Visit hospicefoundation.org for further information.
Certified end-of-life doulas Many are familiar with home birth helpers, known as doulas, popularized in the U.S. during the 1970s. Doulas also work with dying patients and their families to lend emotional support and beyond. These professionals work in tandem with hospice, hospitals and families to calm and guide patients and their loved ones through the entire process. There are programs, such as the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA), that offer training and certification for doulas. They also provide a directory on their website at inelda.org. Taking a village
Remember, no one is alone. If you or a loved one faces end-of-life issues, reach out to your doctor, counselor or other health care professionals to find the help you need.