What Is Hospice Care and When Is It Appropriate?

by May 17, 2023

Determining when to stop treating a senior loved one’s disease and instead focus on their comfort presents an intellectual and emotional impasse. Patients with terminal conditions and their families should have all the details about hospice care services, so they can make the most informed decision possible. End-of-life care allows folks to enjoy the time they have left with their families and pass with dignity. Tysons Woods’ staff and facilities offer such care so that our Tysons, VA, patients can go when ready.

A comprehensive assisted living community, Tysons Woods Assisted Living seeks to provide a holistic care plan for every patient. We customize treatment for every senior while cultivating a free-living lifestyle. Moreover, our senior assisted living community includes social programming and well-balanced meals that we make in-house. To learn more about our hospice care facilities, call (703) 846-0395 or visit our website.

Below, we describe the ins and outs of hospice care and its uses:

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care provides specialized and supportive services to patients with advanced, terminal conditions that limit their natural capabilities and mobility. Some facilities and medical professionals focus on hospice care services in particular, aiming to buoy the quality of life for patients and their families. Their work often seeks to comfort patients and their loved ones in the face of an incurable disease and significant cognitive decline.

Note that hospice services usually begin after medical efforts to cure a disease are exhausted. The patient may decide to abstain from invasive or painful treatment because it offers relatively short-term gains. Hospice care’s goal is to help people end their days with dignity. It is not a sign of giving up, just that the patient has decided to maximize their quality of life in their remaining days.

How Does Hospice Care Work?

H0spice facilities and professionals usually offer the same core service; they diverge in their staffing philosophies. Therefore, you should visit potential hospice care providers if you plan to enroll a loved one therein. 

The primary services a reputable hospice facility provides are:

  • Spiritual Care
    An aspect of treatment specific to hospice services, spiritual care involves diverse and open-ended options. Every senior nearing the end of life have different spiritual and religious needs. For instance, a Tysons Woods patient may request to speak with a clergy member, transportation to a house of worship, or a meeting with a specialist who can talk about what death means at a secular level.

  • Symptom Management
    Sometimes called palliative care or comfort care, symptoms management focuses on reducing the side effects of a terminal illness. It entails more than prescribing opioids to reduce pain and discomfort—a team of hospice care professionals works diligently with the person and family members to manage emotional, mental, and physical effects.
  • Respite Care
    Even though a senior may have accepted they are in the final stages of life, their loved ones often face heightened stress, anxiety, and depression. This emotionally taxing period can last weeks or months and often proves exhausting. Yet hospice services offer respite care so families can take breaks at intervals.

    The staff at the hospice care facility handles daily care responsibilities. During these periods, staff members may send periodic updates or contact loved ones when it’s time to say goodbye. In many ways, respite care is family care.
  • Bereavement Care
    Hospice Care Tysons VA
    Hospice care does not necessarily end when a patient passes. Their loved ones will enter a mourning stage that may require the support of professional caregivers, clergy members, counselors, or trained volunteers. A hospice team may provide direct services or refer family members to appropriate resources following the person’s death.

Signs Hospice Care May Be Appropriate

While no objective test can determine when it’s time for someone to enter a hospice care facility, many signs will indicate that someone has diminished capacity and a declining quality of life. If you or a loved one is experiencing these signs, it may be time to discuss hospice care:

  • A rapid decline in health and wellness over the last 3-6 months
  • Can no longer complete adequate self-care
  • Unable to complete daily chores and activities
  • Difficulty with mental alertness or signs of confusion
  • Loss of appetite or significant weight loss
  • Increased pain or discomfort

Hospice Care Available for Tysons, VA, Seniors

Although some folks may have concerns about hospice care costs, Tysons Woods Assisted Living aims to provide excellent care at reasonable rates. Health insurance plans or Medicare may also cover hospice care costs, allowing loved ones to die with dignity. Nevertheless, pricing comes down to the services required, so we encourage interested parties to reach out and tour our facility. Our comprehensive living options provide outstanding comfort to seniors throughout Tysons, VA. For more information about end-of-life care at Tyson Woods, call (703) 846-0395 today.