The term hospice care is one most families would rather not hear, and many people firmly decline this type of assistance until the need is imminent. However, the real benefit of hospice care comes through early intervention – in fact, the sooner hospice care is initiated, the more services the person will be able to access, resulting in a higher quality of later life.

So exactly when should hospice care be considered, and what does it entail? The in-home care experts at THE MEDICAL TEAM have some answers.

What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice care enhances comfort for patients in the final stages of life. Care can and should begin as soon as the doctor provides certification that an individual’s particular condition generally results in a life expectancy of six months or less.

Hospice allows the person to remain at home, if desired, under the care of a professional team that includes a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, therapists, pharmacist, bereavement counselor, and volunteers. Each member of the hospice care team works together to provide personalized, holistic care to cover the person’s full range of needs.

One of the many benefits of hospice care includes specialized pain management, ensuring that the care recipient remains comfortable at all times and can quickly receive adjustments to medications as needed. In-home accessibility supplies are also provided as needed to enhance quality of life, such as a hospital bed, wheelchair, or portable oxygen tank. And, hospice staff are available on-call at all times, giving both the patient and family members peace of mind.

When Is the Right Time for Hospice Care?

At THE MEDICAL TEAM, we firmly believe that hospice care should begin as early as possible to be most effective. Although the guideline is to provide services for individuals with a life expectancy of six months or less, services will continue as long as needed following that six-month period, with a simple re-certification from the physician to confirm the person’s continued eligibility.

Families who put off calling in hospice until the very final stage of life miss out on the opportunity for the hospice care team to provide the full range of assistance that makes such a difference in the patient and family’s end of life experience.

THE MEDICAL TEAM provides professional hospice care services from our Northern Virginia, and Michigan locations to support individuals nearing the end of life as well as the families who care for them. Services can begin immediately – usually within two hours of receiving the doctor’s referral – and we collaborate closely with the patient’s health care team to ensure seamless care at all times. Contact us to arrange for a free in-home consultation to learn more.