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The Truth About In-Home Hospice

Having a terminal illness, or caring for someone who has one, can bring on dozens of questions and concerns, including when and if it’s the right time for hospice. Some wonder if they will be able to keep their own doctor, while others just don’t know if they are ready.  

The truth is that hospice can actually increase life expectancy and quality- helping make the most of this precious time. Hospice focuses on improving the quality of life for people who are experiencing a life-limiting illness. It usually can begin once curative treatments no longer work and a patient is expected to live six months or less. However, if the patient is still living after six months, hospice can be renewed.  And yes, patients can keep their doctors while on hospice care. 

Home nursing hospice is a commonly used option. It enables people to live out their lives from the comfort of their own home rather than a hospital room -- whether your home is a nursing home, assisted living or private residence.  

Home nursing hospice also provides patients and their families with access to a team of experts to help during this challenging time.  They are dedicated to enhancing quality of life through pain management, reducing stress and providing physical and emotional support. The first visitor is usually a registered nurse who conducts a personal assessment of the patient’s needs.  But there are many others who may work in the home, and behind the scenes, to help, as well. 

  • Spiritual care is available for anyone who is interested.  A Chaplain will provide spiritual support, regardless of one’s denomination or beliefs.  This can also help with saying goodbye or planning a religious ritual.
  • Many people also qualify for a home health aide to help with things like hygiene, light cooking and cleaning.
  • A hospice doctor is working behind the scenes who regularly reviews each case to maximize comfort and symptom management.  
  • Bereavement care is also available for loved ones for up to 13 months after the patient’s death, which typically includes visits, phone calls, and or support groups. 

    Some patients may also benefit from additional home nursing services.  If the patient has medical needs that require ongoing care, a home healthcare nurse can collaborate with hospice to provide the right day-to-day care for the patient. They can also assist with activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming and toileting.  

    To learn more about in-home hospice care call 216-931-1300 or contact VNA Ohio.