Dedicated hospice and palliative care is a family-centered approach. It is offered by individuals who feel strongly about giving terminally ill people the chance to die without pain. The hospice and palliative care services are handled by a whole team. This vibrant and committed team comprises doctors, nurses and home health aides. The team work filters out into the domains of influence of social workers, chaplains and counselors.
Each member of the team has a specific role to play. While the doctors and nurses take care of the medical requirements of the inmates, the social workers identify families that need this kind of support and enable contact. There are trained volunteers who work within hospice and palliative care units. Their primary role is to focus on the dying person’s needs. The needs don’t necessarily have to be physical; they could also be emotional or spiritual.
The hospice and palliative care team is dedicated to the effort of helping the person to remain as pain-free as possible. The teams ensure regular interaction with loved ones, especially near-death. The hospice team takes on the responsibility of developing a care plan. The plan focuses on meeting each inmate’s individual needs. The needs could be for pain management or symptom control or anything else. The team of clergy and counselors enable the spiritual and mental healing of the inmates. The home health aides, hospice physician and nurses ensure that timely medical help is provided for different ailments.
Even in the presence of symptoms that are difficult to manage, the physician’s involvement is unhampered. The units are designed to ensure quality hospice care. The hospice and palliative care medical director answers questions and puts the minds of family members to ease. The hospice and palliative care personnel also recognize the needs of the family members, in the way of emotional and spiritual support. The hospice and palliative care staff work towards delivering the best support to the person and his or her family during trying times.
Among other major responsibilities, the team addresses management of pain and symptoms, emotional support, required medication and equipment, patient care by family and in house team, special services like speech and physical therapy and short-term care available pain or symptoms become difficult to manage at home. The team also offers grief support to surviving loved ones and friends. The support goes on to conversations with family members and even teaching care-giving skills. The need for prayer is also addressed by the hospice and palliative care teams.