Making the decision to choose hospice care for a loved one is never easy, but you can make the hospice experience more comfortable by doing it at home. With the combination of in-home health care and a few changes to your home, you can create a warm, supportive environment for your loved one. Here are a few things you need to know when setting up hospice care at home.
Select An In-Home Hospice Specialist
In-home care for a hospice patient is a little different than regular in-home health care. Look for a person who specializes in hospice care to give your loved one the best possible experience. This person should be able to administer pain medications as needed and help with dressing and feeding. Since part of hospice care is helping with the emotional impact patients face, your in-home health care provider should be able to offer emotional support as needed. In-home hospice workers, such as from Ivory House Health Services, typically provide bereavement services for you if needed. Since you can't be sure of how you might respond emotionally after a loss, be sure to ask about bereavement services when looking for an in-home care specialist.
Make Arrangements For Pets
If your loved one has a pet, you'll want to arrange for in-home pet care. Some studies have shown that pets can provide positive mental and physical health benefits for hospice patients, so removing a beloved pet from the home might not be the best option. Contact a local dog-walking service to arrange for daily walks, feedings and care for the pets so your loved one can reap the benefits of companionship during this difficult time.
Rearrange The Home For Comfort
Depending on your loved one's physical needs, you may need to make a few changes to the way the home is set up. A portable commode chair in the bedroom can help provide access to restroom facilities without walking through the home, and an adjustable bed provides elevation for the feet and head when needed. Remember to add a few creature comforts to the room, such as a television, comfy pillows and cozy blankets, to make bed rest a little easier. A hospital-style meal tray makes eating in bed more convenient and lets your loved one maintain a sense of dignity and independence.
Hospice care at home lets your loved one face a difficult situation in a comfortable, familiar surrounding. If you aren't sure about how to arrange hospice care at home, contact an in-home health care agency that can help you make the arrangements and accommodations needed for this transition in life.