Hospice – a special kind of care for patients, their families and their caregivers that…concentrates on making patients as free of pain and as comfortable as they want to be so they can make the most of the time that remains to them.
Hospice nurses and doctors are up-to-date on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief. In addition, physical and occupational therapists assist patients to be as mobile and self-sufficient as possible.
Medications need to be taken on a regular schedule as prescribed by the physician. They are less effective if you do not take them until you begin to feel pain. The trick is to always stay a few steps ahead of the pain.
Hospice patients who are on prescribed narcotic medications will NOT become addicted.
Proper rest will also assist in pain relief. Patients who are restless or anxious may experience more pain. It may help to be open with our social worker or chaplain to discuss your feelings of anxiety. Sometimes just having someone to talk to will ease your worries. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a medication to help.
Physical or occupational therapy treatments may be able to help with pain by increasing flexibility and mobility. Your hospice nurse will provide you with information and together with your doctor will decide if physical or occupational therapy could help you.
Heat or cold therapy may sometimes ease the discomfort of joints and muscles. Because the skin of a hospice patient may be somewhat fragile, please discuss heat or cold therapy with your hospice nurse to get proper instruction for use.
Massage not only helps to relax muscles and increase blood flow, it is also quite helpful for reducing stress and anxiety. It also is sometimes very comforting to a patient just to feel the closeness and contact from a loved one. Some patients who do not care to have a full or back massage will get comfort from having their hands or feet gently massaged.