Many people want to spend their final days with their loved ones or away from institutional healthcare settings. The same is true for those suffering from a terminal illness. As a result, many of these people may prefer end-of-life care at home.
It's crucial for the elderly or terminally ill to communicate their wishes for end-of-life care to their family members or a doctor. For example, suppose they prefer to receive pain medication and other end-of-life care at home instead of in a hospital. In that case, the caregiver and family members must plan and furnish the room with the medical equipment needed for home hospice. Hospice medical care equipment such as mobility aids, defibrillators, patient transport, and other accessories can enable caregivers to provide assistance and support to individuals planning to receive end-of-life care at home.
The wishes of the elderly patient, the remaining expected lifespan, and the desired care environment are only a few of the considerations caregivers must make when making end-of-life care decisions. Here is how to plan and provide assistance and care to elderly or terminally ill persons who wish for medical care at home.
What is Hospice Medical Care?
Hospice care is provided to terminally ill patients and older people who wish to receive medical care at home or a healthcare facility where they feel comfortable. A multidisciplinary group of medical experts works to alleviate pain and meet terminally ill patients' psychological and medical needs. In addition, counseling, temporary caregiving, and other practical assistance forms comprise hospice care's arsenal for assisting families.
In contrast to conventional medical treatment, hospice care is not intended to reverse the patient's condition. Instead, the focus is on maintaining the best possible standard of living for as long as feasible.
Who Can Opt for Hospice Care?
Many terminally ill patients are opting for hospice care. In the final stages of a terminal illness, hospice care is designed to make the patient as comfortable as possible.
It may become impossible to completely cure a patient's condition, or the patient may refuse specific therapies. In these types of situations, hospice care is an alternative option. Patients who want to enter hospice care are aware that all available treatment options have failed to alleviate symptoms or reduce the progression of their illness.
End of Life In-Home Care
Hospice care, like palliative care, focuses on providing comfort to the patient and their loved ones rather than curing the underlying sickness. Any terminally ill patient whose doctor estimates a six-month or shorter life expectancy based on the disease's typical course is eligible for hospice care. Hospice care initiated at an earlier stage may extend the patient's life for several more months, allowing for more quality interactions with family and friends.
End-of-life care planning should involve doctors, patients, and family members to ensure proper support and comfort for the patient. The doctor can suggest a set of hospice medical care equipment, depending on the patient's condition, requirements, and assistance needed for the end of life in-home care. Early hospice enrollment improves the quality of life and length of life for terminally ill patients. Hospice care lessens the load on loved ones and prolonged mourning and helps those left behind adjust to the reality of their loved one's passing. In addition, hospice care can provide in-patient care if the guardian needs a break from their duties rather than the patient. Sometimes referred to as "respite care," this service is quite helpful.
How Can Caregivers and Family Members Support In-Home End of life Care?
This final phase of caring can be difficult, even for experienced caregivers. Everyday acts of care are frequently intertwined with difficult end-of-life choices and anguished emotions of loss and regret. No matter what you're going through, know that providing care for someone in their later stages involves a lot of help from others. That can include practical aid in arranging for end-of-life care and finances and legal matters, as well as emotional assistance in processing the myriad of emotions to deal with reality. There is no better moment than during end-of-life care to say your goodbyes, make amends, let go of grudges, and shower your loved one with affection.
Helpful Home Medical Equipment for End-Of-Life Care
In consultation with doctors, caregivers can choose hospice medical care equipment and medical supplies for patients. Those with terminal illnesses or catastrophic injuries benefit from palliative care. In addition to relieving symptoms, the purpose of palliative care is to make the patient feel more at ease overall. Those with terminal or life-threatening diseases might turn to hospice for comfort in their final days.
Hospice facilities and end-of-life care at home require equipment and devices to enhance support and assistance to elderly and terminally ill persons in their final stages. American Hospital Supply (AHS) provides a range of hospice medical care equipment and supplies such as incontinence, mobility accessories, daily living aids, and transportation devices to ensure the best care possible for the patients at home or a hospice center.
Following are examples of commonly used medical devices in palliative care and hospice:
AED & Accessories:
An automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a medical device used in sudden cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest is a condition developed due to a heart's electrical activity disturbance. A rapid or irregular heartbeat is a common symptom of cardiac arrest. As caregivers have to be prepared for any medical emergency, this device can help restore the normal heart rhythm of a patient.
Some reliable AED models and accessories include Zoll Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AED and AHS wall cabinets. One can find more suitable defibrillator options for end-of-life care at home by consulting a doctor.
Rollators, Walkers, and Wheelchairs
Walkers and rollators support and assist elderly patients in maintaining movement and independence in doing smaller chores in hospice or care at home. These devices can be an excellent addition to end-of-life care planning and improving mobility. For instance, a 4-Wheel Folding Rollator with ergonomically designed handles and four caster wheels can support walking and standing in a home care environment.
Similarly, a toilet seat raiser can allow patients to adjust their toilet seat according to their convenience and height. Some designs, like the MADDAK toilet seat covers, include a seat riser consisting of two pieces that hinge together to function as a standard toilet seat.
Blood Pressure Monitors
A healthcare provider can advise regular blood pressure monitoring for medical care at home. So investing in a good-quality blood pressure monitor can be a good idea to keep a tab on BP readings. These BP monitoring devices are part of regular medical accessories at home; it becomes more critical for end-of-life care at home or hospice center. The systolic blood pressure of a person in the last stages usually falls below 95 mm Hg. However, the amount is highly variable, as some people will inevitably be short. Therefore, the hospice caregiver will thoroughly assess the patient, taking into account their breathing and level of responsiveness, among other symptoms. BP monitors come in various designs, from reusable NIBP cuffs to professional digital blood pressure monitors. Caregivers can consult the physicians to choose a device that fits the patient's requirements and comfort.
Incontinence pads and clippers are helpful for seniors who have lost bladder control due to aging. In addition, individuals with moderate to severe incontinence can benefit from these products. AHS provides a wide selection of incontinence supplies, including adult diapers, incontinence clamps for men, wipes, gloves, bedpans, and more for hospitals, hospices, and home care.
Useful Medical Accessories for Caregivers
When patients are not turned and repositioned regularly, they might develop pressure ulcers, which is inconvenient for both the patient and the caregiver. Correct patient placement during a transfer is crucial in a medical emergency. These aids are designed to improve the quality of life for patients at the end of life by increasing their comfort level and facilitating their perfusion management. AHS has many medical accessories to enhance end-of-life care at home or hospice centers. The patient transport and positioning supplies include transfer boards, pads, protector pads, and surgical clipper blades.
This additional help at home benefits the terminally ill and the elderly. Involving doctors, family members, caregivers, and volunteers in choosing hospice medical care equipment and necessary support are essential since making the switch to end-of-life care at home or hospice can be emotionally taxing.
Anti Choking Device
Seniors often suffer from dental problems and weakened muscles in the neck and mouth resulting in a higher probability of choking. LifeVac is the leading anti choking device designed to dislodge particulate stuck in the throat. While the gold standard of choking response remains the Heimlich maneuver, LifeVac is a portable device designed as a backup in instances where the Heimlich fails to remove the stuck object.
About American Hospital Supply (AHS)
AHS is a one-stop solution for finding quality medical equipment and accessories for hospitals, nursing homes, and care at home. It collaborates with industry-leading manufacturers to provide its customers with high-quality medical equipment and supplies across the entire spectrum of medical care. Customers can count on reasonable prices, rapid delivery, and helpful staff.
This blog is intended solely for educational purposes. Any information related to medical supplies and personal healthcare should be considered general information, not professional medical advice. American Hospital Supply recommends consulting your doctor regarding any medical treatments or therapies referenced. American Hospital Supply does not make representations or warranties regarding the information relating to products or healthcare decisions referenced within this blog.