Comfort and care on your terms


You may have heard about hospice care in the past, but many people aren’t aware of what hospice care means. At its most basic purpose, hospice care exists to provide specialized attention and patient-driven care to people who want it.

Essentially, hospice care offers people comfort, so that they may have the best life possible they can have at a difficult time when they are likely feeling overwhelmed, and when their health and wishes have long been beyond their control.

The design and purpose behind hospice care helps patients regain their autonomy through patient-driven and people-focused care. This usually contrasts with previous experiences in a patient’s journey that focused on symptoms and treatments and not their desires and needs.

Types of care

In general, patients that elect to have hospice care have been through a long and difficult journey of medical care already, and so are looking for a different focus in their health care — care that focuses on patients as people, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization explains.

It’s for this reason that every hospice treatment or care plan is driven by the needs and desires of the patient and, in some instances, the patient’s family. Thus, the day-to-day care given by the hospice care team is based on a simple premise: Ask the patient about their immediate needs and wants, and then meet those needs and wants.

How hospice helps

Supporting the family of the patient is also crucial in hospice care. Family members have special insight into what actions are necessary, so hospice care takes extra time to include the family support system in the provided care plan.

This simple process is accomplished through the help of a comprehensive team of caregivers, according to hospice provider, Trustbridge:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses and advanced nurse practitioners
  • Certified hospice aides
  • Music therapists
  • Bereavement counselors
  • Social workers
  • Pharmacists
  • Volunteers

The members of this group give their time, skills and compassion to offer up the best combination of specialized care and attention for every patient. While caregivers understand the importance of medical training and skills, they are also emotionally present to offer patients and families their love and consideration.

Unique aspects

One of the great things about hospice care is that patients can continue seeing their primary care physician when desired. There is nothing stopping the interdisciplinary group or hospice care team from collaborating with the primary care doctor to provide a comprehensive experience for the patient.

Many patients develop a relationship with the primary care doctor that they don’t want to give up but, with hospice care, they can maintain this relationship while getting the help they need in all forms.

Locally, Trustbridge provides many unique services, such as the Pet Peace of Mind Program, where patients who are seriously ill can have access to pet care to ease their burdens. Knowing a beloved family pet is taken care of can be a source of relief and peace for someone who is physically ill.

Music therapy is also available from trained therapists to help patients continue to connect with others. Research shows that such types of therapy increase overall happiness and mental wellness, which is something every person — the patient and family members — can benefit from, pharmacist Catherine Ulbricht writes for Psychology Today.

Location makes hospice unique

If you’re worried about whether you or a loved one could receive hospice care where you live, know that it comes to you. Regardless of location, hospice care providers make the effort to be in whatever place you feel the most comfortable.

Some patients prefer to remain at home, while others want to receive care in a hospital, nursing home or other residence. This aspect of hospice care offers a vital benefit to patients who want to feel comfortable where they receive care.

As long as your loved one is eligible, hospice care is available for as long as the patient and family need or want it, again letting patients ultimately make choices about their care.

For more information about how hospice care works, visit trustbridge.com, where you can get a free copy of Understanding Hospice Care.

Trustbridge is a local nonprofit hospice committed to providing compassionate care to patients and families who are facing serious illness in Palm Beach County.

Contact them on the web here: www.trustbridge.com/contact

Telephone: Admissions and Referrals: 844.422.3648