How Hospice Care Addresses Your Loved One’s Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional Needs

Hospice Care Addresses Your Loved

Excellent Hospice Care Delivers Compassion and Care for the Whole Person

 Hospice services are ordered when your loved one has stopped treatment for a terminal illness, and their doctor has determined that they likely have six months to live without treatment. At this time, your loved one will need comfort and support that goes beyond maintenance for pain when they come home.

The quality of the hospice care you receive, however, is highly dependent on your provider. Not every hospice care provider approaches this responsibility to “the whole person” the same way.

Read on to learn what excellent and holistic hospice care looks like, as well as information to help you find a provider that will match your loved one’s needs during this difficult time.


What Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional Needs Look Like During Hospice Care

Hospice care is not only about pain management, even though this is a primary consideration to ensure your loved one is comfortable and not suffering.

And yet pain relief is only the beginning of how hospice care can help. You and your loved one will naturally experience many more feelings and have many more needs than you may have initially anticipated.


Physical needs during hospice care:


  • Comfort
  • Pain management
  • Nutrition
  • Hygiene
  • Help using the toilet
  • Physical, speech, or occupational therapy, if applicable
  • Respite care for caregivers


A superior hospice care agency will quickly jump into action with a plan of care that ensures these needs are met. An entire treatment team is at your disposal when you choose hospice care, including on-call nurses and doctors who are available around the clock.


Your provider will ensure that the right skilled healthcare team members will be there when they’re supposed to be there, along with the proper medical supplies, equipment, prescriptions, and more. In short, you won’t just assume that your loved one’s care’s needs are met. You’ll see it in action. Perhaps most importantly, your loved one will feel that their needs are being cared for.


Emotional and spiritual needs during hospice care:


  • Emotional comfort
  • Conversation
  • Listening
  • Companionship
  • Counseling
  • Spiritual wisdom
  • Bereavement counseling and resources

Excellent hospice care providers will cover these important needs in tangible ways. Providers will offer chaplain support services for spiritual conversation and comfort. Some providers assign volunteers for additional companionship and comfort to your loved one. Bereavement counseling and resources are also available once your loved one has passed.

Less tangibly, you may also notice the way an exceptional hospice care treatment team cares for you and your family. You deserve gentleness, attentiveness, comfort, kindness, and warmth. A high-quality provider selects talented team members that exude these qualities.

Your family will know that your loved one’s emotional and spiritual needs are being taken care of. There will be more understanding, comfort, and space for you and your loved one’s many complex feelings during this time.

How to Find a Provider that Addresses Your Loved One’s Complete Set of Needs

Seeking the right provider for hospice care requires some research on your part. Review the list of needs addressed above and ask a prospective provider how they intend to address them. If they have a clear plan in place when answering your question, they will likely be a good fit.

You might consider asking, “How do you specifically address hospice patients’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs?” Not only should their answer be thorough, but you will be able to get a sense of the level of compassion they have for families and patients who are at this stage of life.

It is also important to notice the emphasis that a provider places on the family’s needs, not just the patient’s. The way that a provider cares for your loved one is bound to have an effect on you, too. Also, if your provider offers respite care and bereavement services, you’ll know that the provider is thinking even more comprehensively about the needs of everyone involved.

You need to be cared for, as well, so that you are truly present during this important stage of your loved one’s life. A strong hospice care provider knows this and ensures that this fact is implemented in everything they do.

Hospice is, of course, about a patient’s care, but it is also about caring for a family during a difficult time. Look for a hospice care provider that understands this. These providers exist, and we are fortunate to have them as a resource when we need them.
















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