The guilt of putting a loved one under hospice care in a nursing home needs a thought drift. Hospice is just a chapter of life, and it needs acceptance after having lived many fine chapters with a family. Now it’s time to keep your loved one comfortable, in minimal pain, and watched over always. At home, it gets challenging, given the busy work schedules and nuclear families. The constant stress of keeping a wholesome care schedule and nurturing them physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually drains one out. One needs to be in place so individuals and their families can slowly prepare themselves for the eventual reality of life – death!
Hospice and Nursing Homes are options that come under consideration when we have a loved one battling physical ailments that are not reversible. It is a situation when we need external help with expertise in carrying it forward. Nursing homes are physical spaces that facilitate care like ortho, neuro, psychiatric, palliative, or hospice. It has trained staff, medical assistance, and all equipment required to keep the patient’s conditions treated or managed.
Hospice, on the other hand, is a service offered either at home or in nursing homes. It has no curative intent. The focus is comfort, pain management, hygiene, and doing what makes them happy. It is usually the last stage of life wherein they deal with medicinal side effects, prevent further escalation, and manage pain. Death is an acceptance during hospice care. It neither hastens nor postpones death but lets nature take its course. This care makes the body acclimatize and revel in the darkness of the letting-go countdown.
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Hospice residential facilities will give a safe, secure, and monitored space with all facilities to keep your family members comfortable. While they will be away from home, it will keep them connected to you as families with frequent updates, video calls, and updates on doctor consults. Pain management is most crucial with medicine monitoring and vitals and doctor consults. Their mental health gets nurtured with the help of staff, counselors, or therapists. There are conversations, spiritual and otherwise, about life. Personal hygiene and suitable diets are on offer with 24*7 and caregivers. Every possible assistance, bathing, feeding, and medicine administration, is granted. Their last wishes are respected, and whatever is needed to make them happily say goodbye is carried out.
Any Hospice Nursing home you choose, ensure it is accessible for you in emergencies. Check if they have transparency in place as far as communication, written contract, etc is concerned. Check for general cleanliness standards as most hospice patients are on beds, and hygiene maintenance becomes paramount. Be it turning them to avoid bed sores, frequent diaper changes to prevent rashes, their hygiene routines, and clean and airy rooms. Communication is a challenge for most in the last leg of life with incurable ailments, so experienced staff needed to observe and do the needful, be it checking on a dehydrated body, lack of sleep, or aggressive body language. Any change could be a link to their current pain quotient. Check if the medical supplies and equipment to keep them comfortable, be it wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen supplies, etc.
Papayacare in Ahmedabad is the best in the field for assisted living and hospice. They engage minds with a spiritual connection through music like bhajan, chants, and prayers. Families are allowed to meet members more often during the last phase. Back-up assistance is given, like video calling families to keep them posted on the latest. There is a constant flow of team in and out, wherein they talk of life, take stock of lookbacks, and try to fulfill the little desires left in their hearts. For any medical emergencies or even in case of death, procedures are intact to make it easier for families in tough times. As a hospice care facility, an ambulance is in-house to transfer them back to the home hospital mortuary or cremation ground as needed on request.
All endings are beginnings. As they say, we didn’t know it at the time! Whether you are a loved one or a distant stranger doing the duty, there is nothing more comforting than caring for a tired soul and making their path ahead meaningful in some ways. The gratitude may not come to you in words but translates into blessings that change your path in life forever.