A terminal illness can be overwhelming for the patient and family members on many levels. It can take a toll on emotional, spiritual, and social health. Hospice care focuses on the overall health and well-being of patients and their families. When a terminal illness is diagnosed, people will naturally struggle through a variety of emotions, including anger and depression. The health of the whole patient is treated when hospice care is enlisted.
A terminally ill patient tends to do a lot of thinking. This can result in regrets they’ve had in their lives, missed opportunities, decisions they wish they could go back and re-do. All this thinking can result in a negativity that can greatly diminish the patient’s quality of life for the rest of his/her days. Hospice teams are staffed with trained social workers who will listen to a patient’s concerns and their stories. They will endeavor to address each concern with compassion and care. Likewise, family caregivers have their own sadness and anxiety, oftentimes squelching their feelings in order not to distress the patient further. These are tough times, and people need help. Hospice can be there to help.
Concerns naturally arise for the patient about what happens after death. People can become quite anxious, especially if they haven’t had a fulfilling faith journey during life. Everyone is entitled to their own belief system; some will struggle with their beliefs during this time. They need trained counselors to listen to them, to listen to their stories. Many times, veterans, in particular, can have regrets or worries about decisions made in the context of war. They had to endure many terrible situations. Many veterans struggle with those emotions and how they might be related to in a spiritual realm.
All aspects of a patient’s and their family’s belief system, as well as the overall physical conditions, need to be factored into end-of-life care. Hospice of the North Coast has a plan to cover every need.