We sustain ourselves with the love of family.”
Maya Angelou

There is no time when this quote is truer than when a loved one is facing a life limiting illness. A strong and loving family can make navigating choices a little easier and help the patient to truly make every moment count and enjoy whatever time they have left.

The Hospice Philosophy of Care

Hospice is a philosophy of care that embraces the value of family and provides support to not just the patient but every person who is important to them. This focus on family makes it easier to keep a loved one at home through the end stage of life, support their goals and spend more time making lasting memories or reminiscing about better times from the past. Families benefit from hospice care as much as the patient does, and here are just a few of the reasons why.

Hospice Nursing Support

Caring for a loved one at the end of life is challenging. While most of us would certainly make this great sacrifice, providing care is easier when you have support from professionals who understand how complex this task is. Hospice care nurses visit patients at home to assess, monitor and treat symptoms. They provide services to minimize pain and discomfort. Additionally, hospice nurses offer valuable education to family caregivers, teaching them how to best care for their loved one when the hospice team is not around.

Respite Care

Family caregivers also benefit from respite support available through hospice care. A loving spouse might take time away for a shower or a quick nap while the hospice nurse is in the home. Or a trained volunteer might sit with the patient while their daughter takes time out for a walk or a trip to the grocery store. This time away is essential and helps to relieve the mental and physical stress of providing care for a seriously ill loved one.

End of Life Planning

While the day-to-day physical tasks of caring for a loved one with a life-limiting illness are quite time consuming, family caregivers must also make time for advanced care planning to ensure their loved one’s wishes are respected after they pass. This might include creating a will, signing power of attorney paperwork or having discussions about DNRs and other medically related directives. Hospice social workers help families to navigate through these complex tasks, connecting them with resources in the community and answering questions so that they better understand the steps to take in preparation for the end of life.

Emergency Support in Hospice Care

In addition to routine visits from a hospice nurse, Salus Hospice care managers remain on call 24-hours a day and 7 days a week to answer questions for the patient or family members or address any concerns. Having this type of emergency support can relieve feelings of anxiety, stress and uncertainty.

Bereavement Counseling

Salus Hospice promotes healing for life after loss by providing bereavement care to family members after the death of a loved one. Specially trained counselors can also help families to cope with anticipatory grief – which is the grief many people experience while their loved one is receiving comfort care at the end of life. These services support emotional health and well being and can bring closure, acceptance, permission for positive forward movement and comfort to a family.

Hospice is for the patient, but it’s also for the family. With these services in place, you’ll find it easier to spend quality time with your loved one and focus on the things that matter most. If your family is coping with a life-limiting diagnosis, we’re here to help. Contact Salus Hospice of Los Angeles with questions or to schedule your personalized consultation.