There is no place like home. When you are not feeling well, where are you most comfortable? For me, home is where I want to be when I am under the weather, and it is the one place that brings me a sense of comfort. So often there is no immediate relief from what ails you, but being at home has a way of making people feel safe, comfortable and more relaxed. For some, even being in a hospital setting can be a risk to those with fragile immune systems. Hospice can provide the necessary preventive environment to ensure patient safety.
Hospice clinicians often care for patients who wish to remain in their homes, and though the home setting can also be a challenging work environment, clinicians are trained to make the appropriate changes to keep everyone safe and provide state-of-the-art care. Before home healthcare can begin for your loved one, the agency providing the services will need to conduct a comprehensive evaluation, which includes the following 5 general categories:
- Basic Home Safety and Patient Safety Issues
- The Overall Home Environment
- Accessibility Issues
- Fire Preparedness/Minimizing Fire Hazards
- Patient, Family/Caregiver Issues: Availability, ability and willingness to perform required tasks.
Once your home has been accessed and all safety issues are addressed, your hospice team will begin working on a care plan for you and your loved one. The team will work to provide care to fit the specific needs of the patient as well as the family. Your loved one will be regularly monitored to check for any changes that might require attention from a specific member of their home care team. Most home care teams also provide training for family members, so they can take part in the care of their loved one.
November is National Hospice and Home Care Month. During the month the home care and hospice communities honor the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists and social workers who make a major difference for the patients they care for and their families. The knowledge and personalized care offered by home care and hospice are immeasurable. My family has had care provided by hospice, and I could not imagine my loved one’s end-of-life without having had the care and concern given to my family by our hospice team.