End-of-life care becomes an issue at some point for elderly clients. Even with the emergence of palliative care programs and hospice programs, the majority of elderly people do not die in their own home as is their preference. What are the reasons for this trend? Discuss what you can do as a nurse to support your clients in end-of-life care and in supporting their desires. Support your response with evidence-based literature.
When a patient and their family have to deal with end of life situations it is stressful for everyone involved. The need for this type of care has increased. These programs involve both hospice and palliative care. Palliative care helps keep the patient comfortable and hospice helps relieve the symptoms associated this process (WebMD, 2005). These two areas can be separate or combined. The palliative care may be given during any time, but hospice tends to be a service that is during the last remaining months of a persons life expectancy (WebMD, 2005). There are many benefits to utilizing hospice care. This care may be utilized at home, hospital, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or hospice facilities (Mayo Clinic, 2016). Patients who are enrolled in this type of program can benefit from many types of services. If a patient is enrolled in hospice early it can help the patients live better and longer during their end of life stages; also, helps prepare the family through this complicated period (Mayo Clinic, 2016).
A nurse can be an active part of a patients hospice care. Nurses can be a member of the hospice care team. As a part of the care team, a nurse would provide care at the patients home or care setting to provide care (Mayo Clinic, 2016). The nurse coordinates the hospice care team (Mayo Clinic, 2016). Nurses are a very important part of a patients care during this intense part of their life. It is a specialized area that can be challenging, but rewarding area to be a member of.
Mayo Clinic. (2016). Hospice care: Comforting the terminally ill. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/end-of-life/in-depth/hospice-care/art-20048050
WebMD. (2005). What Is Palliative Care? Staff, Coverage, Difference From Hospice, and More . Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/palliative-care/palliative-care