Benefits of Companionship for Hospice Patients
Hospice care is a specialized form of healthcare that provides comfort and support to patients who are nearing the end of life’s journey. Care is provided wherever the patient calls home. Hospice is the original model of care that is patient-centered and family-centered and driven by patient goals. The hospice care team is made up of both clinical and non-clinical members known as an Interdisciplinary Team. This team consists of a physician (medical director), registered nurse (case manager), social worker, certified nursing assistant, spiritual care counselor, bereavement counselor and volunteer. Patients may opt out of some of these services. Hospice is a Medicare benefit (Medicaid or private insurance may also cover services). Quality of life often improves when a patient is under hospice care as the focus is on care, not a cure. Discontinuing medication and treatment for a disease may give a patient some clarity and time to thrive before the disease wins the final battle. When going to the doctor’s office and the hospital no longer benefits the patient, hospice care provides comfort through pain and symptom control. Being proactive with hospice care allows patients and families to make the most of this precious time.
Companionship plays a crucial role in enhancing the emotional and psychological wellbeing of hospice patients. A vital part of hospice is carefully selected and well-trained volunteers working alongside the professional staff. These special people provide different types of support for the hospice program and those coping with terminal illness, grief, and loss. Volunteers are good listeners, non-judgmental, adaptable and have a strong desire to reach out with love and concern to others. Through their own life experiences and perspectives, they enhance the rich texture that is known as hospice care. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of companionship for patients who are on hospice care.
- Provides Emotional Support: Companionship is one of the most important aspects of hospice care. A hospice patient may feel lonely, depressed, or anxious due to their illness. Having a companion can help patients to cope with these emotions and provide a sense of comfort and security. Companionship can help patients feel more connected to others and can reduce feelings of isolation.
- Helps Patients to Maintain Social Connections: As a patient’s illness progresses, it can become more challenging for them to maintain social connections with friends and family members. Having a companion can help to fill this gap and provide patients with the opportunity to socialize and engage in meaningful activities. This can help to boost a patient’s morale and provide them with a sense of purpose and belonging.
- Provides Respite for Caregivers: Caring for a hospice patient can be a challenging and demanding role. Having a companion can provide respite for caregivers and give them a much-needed break. This can help to reduce caregiver burnout and provide a better quality of life for both the patient and their caregiver.
- Improves Quality of Life: Companionship can help to improve the quality of life for hospice patients by providing them with companionship, support, and comfort. Companions can help patients to engage in activities that they enjoy, such as listening to music, playing games, or reading. These activities can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and promote a sense of wellbeing.
- Offers Companionship at End of Life: In the final stages of life, companionship can provide a sense of comfort and peace to patients. Companions can provide emotional support and help patients to feel more at ease during this difficult time. Companionship can also help to facilitate important conversations and support patients in the dying process.
- Veteran-to-Veteran Companionship: Veterans and their families have unique needs and experiences in the end-of-life journey. Once paired with hospice patients who also have military experience, veteran volunteers have the unique ability to relate and connect with a patient to create an environment where life review and healing may occur.
Every patient is different, and every volunteer is different. That means that these relationships take many forms. A Plus Hospice Care provides extensive training for volunteers. And certain requirements must be met before meeting with patients, such as being tested for tuberculosis and obtaining a background check. The volunteer pays nothing out of pocket. A Plus Hospice Care is a locally owned and operated business that has served the communities of Reno/Sparks and Carson City/Minden/Gardnerville for 9 years.
For more information about hospice care or to request a volunteer application, please contact:
A Plus Hospice Care