Hospice Care during COVID - White Orchid Hospice

Hospice Care during COVID

Hospice Care during COVID

 

Hospice care falls in the category of palliative care that is related to providing care for terminally ill patients (CARE, 2015). It allows them to accept their death positively and provides emotional strength and support to dying patients and families (Plumb & Ogle, 1992). Hospice care is aimed at improving the quality of life and preparing the patient and families for the end of life. It is truly patient-centered care that meets all the needs of terminally ill patients with help of a multidisciplinary team of caregivers. It is mostly provided at home, however, it can also be provided in hospitals, nursing homes, or hospice care facilities.

Terminally ill patients of COVID-19 are severely symptomatic at experience breathlessness and agitation near the time of death. Poor bereavement outcomes from family and higher distress are also associated with deaths during COVID. At this time it’s better to provide care to our loved ones who are breathing their last.

Hospice and palliative caregivers have special training to provide care while keeping the patient safe (Currow, Agar, & Phillips, 2020). Hospice care can be beneficial in several ways.

 

Hospice palliative care is usually provided at home therefore there is a lesser exposure to a group of people. It overrules the concept of readmission to hospitals as symptoms and pain are managed at home under the supervision of hospice clinicians. So terminally ill patients will not catch hospital-acquired infections. This is especially good for geriatric patients.

 

During COVID infections, the patient is kept in an isolation from other family members. This is very hard and painful for geriatric patients to stay alone and suffer from this disease. The patient especially as they near end of life, requires extra emotional support from healthcare providers (Wenrich et al., 2003). So the hospice healthcare providers always accompany the patient and provide constant emotional support and courage (Bhatnagar & Lagnese, 2021).

 

A hospice team includes doctors, nurses, home health aides, spiritual counselors, social workers, pharmacists, volunteers, bereavement counselors, and other professionals such as occupational therapists. This team of professionals is prepared for all kinds of emergencies. After the pandemic breakout, many chaplains were asked to provide online spiritual support to people. Chaplains in the hospice care team address the spiritual concerns and say prayers for patients and families. They serve to provide guidance and spiritual support to meet the needs (Bhatnagar & Lagnese, 2021). In hospice care, the patient is the only priority. The patient is given a familiar and peaceful environment close to their loved ones. The patient is provided with personalized care and support. It gives the patient a sense of dignity and respects the patient’s wishes. The care team makes sure that the patient is happy, eating their favorite food, etc. They don’t restrict the patient from doing anything they want. Hospice care is much cheaper than hospitals. It provides financial support to patients and families. They can also take help from private insurances to avail themselves of hospice care services.

 

 

 

 

 

Bhatnagar, M., & Lagnese, K. R. (2021). Hospice care. StatPearls [Internet].

CARE, O. O. P. (2015). Q: What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care? Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 82(9), 569.

Currow, D. C., Agar, M. R., & Phillips, J. L. (2020). Role of Hospice Care at the End of Life for People With Cancer. Journal of clinical oncology: official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Plumb, J. D., & Ogle, K. S. (1992). Hospice care. Primary Care, 19(4), 807-820.

Wenrich, M. D., Curtis, J. R., Ambrozy, D. A., Carline, J. D., Shannon, S. E., & Ramsey, P. G. (2003). Dying patients’ need for emotional support and personalized care from physicians: perspectives of patients with terminal illness, families, and health care providers. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 25(3), 236-246.