In 2011, the Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association, conducted a study that showed 70 percent of seniors in Nebraska wanted to discuss end of life options with their doctors, but only 21 percent were even made aware of hospice options from their doctors.
The results confirmed what some independent researchers had suspected for years. Namely that while a patient's level of medical care.has increasingly improved, it comes at the cost of seeing multiple separate doctors and specialists. With so many medical caregivers involved, the lines of who should be the one to dispense such information has become blurred. A specialist might give excellent care in one area, but not feel like they are the correct one to talk about other topics. As one researcher put it, “They take care of the tree and not the whole forest.”
Looking at Hospice in Home
While many people would prefer to receive hospice at home, it’s not really an option unless certain changes are able to be made at home. Some of these are easy changes, and others are more complicated involving changes to the structure of your houses. Even if you are able to make the changes necessary, there are still factors that need to be considered such as the patient’s condition, the level of both medical and non-medical carethat will be able to be provided, and how quickly they are likely to deteriorate.
Here are a few things to consider to help make your home more hospice ready. For a more comprehensive list, check out the free consumer resources from the National Aging in Place Council.
Preventing Falls - Anti-slip strips need to be placed in high risk areas such as bathrooms, showers, and tile floors. This also means that throw rugs need to be removed as they are sliding hazards.
Increase the level of light in the home. This can help bumping accidents.
Anti-scald Faucets can be helpful for both caregivers and hospice patients.
Expand Hallways to make room for wheelchairs and walkers.
Install Handrails on porches and stairs can help prevent falls.
Relocate Bedrooms - Upstairs rooms should be moved downstairs.
Following this link will take you to a document with a checklist on how to make a home safe for home care patients."Home Safety Checklist (PDF)." There are several programs available that offer reduced rate loans and/or help with modifying your home to prepare for hospice. Check out our Free service and find what’s available near you.
Source: Cal Quality Care