Terminally ill patients deserve good care during their last months. Hospice is a critical aspect to that. Hospice needs to ensure that patients are cared for and meet standards that ensure the best qualify of care for the dying.
The article, “Terminally Ill Patients Deserve Hospice Care Reforms” by Ross Marchand states,
“Every year, hospices offer millions of sick and vulnerable Americans a refuge from medical tests and endless injections in their final days. In 1982, lawmakers realized that a growing network of hospices offered similarly effective but more pleasant care than hospitals for terminally ill patients, at a fraction of the cost.”
Losing a parent at any age is a painful process. When losing a parent, the intensity of the loss can drain adult children. The loss can be overwhelming and is life altering. Special care is needed for the surviving adult children as they learn to cope with a world without their parents.
The article, “How To Take Care Of Yourself When Your Parent Is Dying” by Nicole Pajer states,
“When a parent receives a terminal diagnosis, it can instantly sweep you into caretaking mode ― chauffeuring to doctor appointments, picking up medications, keeping a positive attitude, running errands and doing anything you can to keep your loved one comfortable. But it’s important not to forget yourself in the process.”
Great article on what Palliative Care as part of the overall Hospice care. Palliative care is more diverse in that it deals with the serious illness at any phase, helping many recover. Sometimes, it leads to ultimately hospice in itself, but Palliative Care can be part of your medical team.
The article, “A Good Life And A Good Death: What Is Palliative Care?: by Camel Wroth states,
“Palliative care is attending to the physical, emotional and spiritual suffering of patients and families who are dealing with a serious illness. Hospice is a type of palliative care that we provide in the last six months of life.”
Approaching the question of death with a healthy mindset is important. Too many times, death and dying is put off and ignored. This can create untimely preparation and confusion surrounded by the sadness. Hence talking about death is important.
The article,”Changing the National Conversation around Death” looks at the importance of discussing death and dying. It states,
“From anti-aging beauty regimens to strict diets and medical screenings, Western culture places immense value on the quality and preservation of life. Death, however, is a subject largely absent from daily conversation, and when raised, it evokes fear and anxiety.”
End of life care can be stressful and sad for family members. They need to know the options necessary for their loved one. There are many routes to take depending on one’s situation in caring for the loved one.
The article, “6 Different End-of-Life Care Options to Know if You or a Loved One Is Sick” reviews the many types of care from hospice to palliative to anything in between. The article states,
“No one wants to think about end-of-life care for themselves or a loved one. But when it comes down to it, end-of-life care is another important way of looking after a person’s health both mentally and physically. “It’s about finding the right fit and putting a team in place to help you achieve your goals,” Scott Kaiser, M.D., a family physician and geriatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF. ”
Good article about the cost of dying. Many people do not prepare for this and it can cost more than one thinks
The article, “The financial cost of death and dying” by Bina Brown states,
“The death of a loved one can be hard enough to deal with without the extra worry about the cost of carrying out their wishes. Key decisions — including the executor of the will, whether to die at home or whether you are buried among the trees or cremated — all involve a financial burden and much easier made when family members are not bereaved.”
Great article on the courage of the dying and also a great article for those who care for the dying
The article, “Terminal patient shares his courageous views on death and dying” by BENJAMIN TREVINO states
“Ninety-year-old Earl Sprague of Harlingen visits with his niece and nephew in his room at Aurora House in Weslaco. As they quietly exchange small talk about home and family matters, the low hush of Earl’s oxygen concentrator can be heard beneath their conversation.”
Cancer is a difficult disease that can be a devastating diagnosis for both the patient and their loved ones. It is important for not only the patient to be well informed, but also for the people in their life who will be caring for them during their treatment.
Symptoms and Side Effects
If cancer is discovered early the patient may not experience symptoms of the cancer itself. Often the treatment, such as chemotherapy, causes unpleasant side effects. Whether from the disease itself or from the treatment, common symptoms experienced by cancer patients include:
-Loss of Appetite
Psychological and Emotional Symptoms
A cancer diagnosis is difficult on the mind as well as the body. Both the patient and their family may experience fear, anxiety, and depression. The stress that accompanies long term medical care can sometimes affect relationships. So, it is important that both the patient and their caregivers get the emotional support they need during this difficult time.
Caring for the Patient
A patient undergoing cancer treatment requires palliative care. Palliative care addresses the patient’s physical symptoms as well as their emotional needs. The goal is to provide a support structure for everyone involved. A good palliative team will include not only doctors and oncologists, but also counselors, possibly dietitians or nutritionists, pain specialists, sometimes clergy or chaplains, as well as friends and family members. It can be just as important for family and caregivers to seek counseling as it is for the patient, as they will be going through this journey also.
Different Types of Cancer Require Specialized Approaches
Some forms of cancer are common and therefore they are easier to treat. But, certain rare types can be more challenging. Professionals, like those at Missouri Cancer Associates, know that some cancers spread at faster rates than others, which means that a timely diagnosis and treatment is crucial. For example, small cell lung cancer is one aggressive type of cancer that spreads much more quickly than many other forms. There are two types of small cell lung cancer, small cell carcinoma (sometimes called oat cell cancer) and combined small cell carcinoma. Because these two forms of cancer are very aggressive, it is crucial to begin treatment as soon as possible.
Quality Care Makes a Difference
Whether you or someone you love has received a diagnosis of cancer, it is important to tend to both physical and emotional needs. Seek both physical and psychological therapy, make nutrition a priority, do light exercise regularly. Most importantly, stay positive on your road to wellness.
If you would like to learn more about Pastoral Thanatology or care of the dying, please review our Pastoral Thanatology Program for more information and see if it matches your academic and professional needs to become certified in this field.