East Bay CNA from Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

How Hospice Care at Home Makes Each Day the Best It Can Be

carer hand holding elder hand woman in hospice care

Hospice care can make a world of difference in quality of life.

When asked what people would most wish for in the last six months of their lives, responses included:

  • Having a choice about which services would be provided
  • Relief from pain
  • Emotional and spiritual support, both for themselves and for their loved ones
  • The ability to receive care at home (or at a loved one’s home)
  • The chance to put their lives in order

Hospice care at home provides all of these benefits and more, offering a way to meet physical, mental/emotional, spiritual, and practical needs, with a goal of relieving or preventing pain and suffering while respecting the care recipient’s final wishes. Here’s how.

Physical Needs

Near the end of a person’s life, he or she may experience pain, fatigue, problems with breathing, digestive issues, seizures, skin irritation, and more. As a caregiver, it’s important to pick up on a client’s nonverbal cues that may indicate physical discomfort, such as moaning, grimacing, pacing, or agitation.

In addition to medical interventions, the person may benefit from:

  • Relaxation techniques such as soft music, light massage, guided imagery, aromatherapy, etc.
  • Distractions, such as playing a game or cards, engaging in an art project, or reminiscing
  • Deep breathing
  • Cold or heat (ice pack, heating pad, etc.)

Additionally, pay close attention to the senior’s skin. Bedsores and dry skin can be remedied to relieve pain and discomfort. Use lip balm to soothe dry lips and ice chips or a damp cloth if the inside of the mouth is dry, and take steps to prevent bedsores by repositioning the person every few hours, placing foam pads underneath bony areas, and ensuring skin stays clean and moisturized.

Emotional/Spiritual Needs

Sometimes, simply sitting quietly with someone and being there to listen if he or she would like to share any feelings with you can be a tremendous comfort. Never correct or argue with the person, or try to change his or her feelings or thoughts in any way. And never talk about the person as though he or she was not in the room.

It’s also important to respect and honor the individual’s personal spiritual beliefs and needs, without judgment or interference.

Practical Needs

Caregivers are fundamental to helping families of those receiving hospice care to experience a sense of relief from the many everyday tasks that continue to need attention. Taking care of laundry, household chores, meals, and running errands allows families to spend quality time with their loved ones. Never underestimate the value you provide by tending to even the simplest of tasks.

As experts in home health care in Walnut Creek and nearby areas, Hillendale Home Care serves as an integral part of a client’s hospice care team, and the sooner services begin, the more comfortable the client will be. Contact us to learn about joining our team of care professionals through our CNA and HHA school.