Palliative and hospice care help relive end-of-life stress for a patient and loved ones.
What do you do when there is nothing more you can do?
Sadly, the sun eventually sets for each of us, but there are things we can do to make it more comfortable and dignified.
The first step is good and clear communication with your loved one and their physician(s). Some of our loved ones will want every possible intervention or treatment available no matter what, while others may just want to be made comfortable. Their physicians will be able to give you guidance on what is best.
A physician will talk to you about not providing care that is futile which means it is unlikely to keep your loved one alive longer than if you did nothing. Be aware that some treatments can also make those last days or weeks incredibly unpleasant instead of as peaceful as possible.
Hospice is where you’re made comfortable.
The goal is to achieve some peace and dignity until the end. Often that includes gentle doses of pain or anti-anxiety medication to keep your loved one comfortable. Hospice care is where one spends his/her final days in the most comforting environment possible, which should include family and friends, as tolerated.