Mesothelioma Hospice Care
Hospice care may be a consideration for mesothelioma patients and families because of the short life expectancy of the disease. Hospice can be a compassionate option for end-of-life care.
What is Hospice?
Hospice operates on the philosophy that regardless of prognosis, every patient should have a high quality of life. Hospice care combines compassion with medical expertise, providing pain relieving treatment with daily assistance for the patient’s basic needs.
Benefits of Hospice for Mesothelioma Patients
Hospice doesn’t attempt to impact the length of a patient’s life, but rather improve the quality of it. Pain-relieving, or palliative, treatments can help make a mesothelioma patient more comfortable.
The medical and caregiving staff at hospice should be dedicated to making patients’ lives better, including sensitivity and kindness in everyday interactions. Having someone who is understanding and compassionate can bring peace to patients and their families.
The short prognosis associated with mesothelioma can be hard on the patient and family. End-of-life care isn’t easy for anyone. Hospice counselors can provide emotional, mental and spiritual help for patients who are facing an extremely difficult time.
When Hospice Should be Considered
When mesothelioma is diagnosed, it is often in such a late stage that the patient’s life expectancy is fairly short. Hospice can be a good choice for people who aren’t responding to curative treatments and want to alleviate the pain caused by mesothelioma.
Levels of Hospice Care
Hospice can be offered in different forms depending on the needs of the patient. Some people prefer hospice assistance in their own homes and others require an inpatient program. The levels of hospice care include:
Routine Home Care
The most basic level of hospice care, routine home care provides pain-relieving medical treatment to patients within their own homes. At this level, a nurse will visit the patient a few times a week to deliver care.
Continuous Home Care
For patients experiencing physical or emotional symptoms that require more intensive care, continuous home care will be provided on a more regular basis. Medication and support are provided between 8-24 hours per day, depending on the patient’s needs.
General Inpatient Care
For those with severe pain caused by advanced stages of mesothelioma, inpatient care provides around-the-clock relief. Inpatient care is available through hospitals or freestanding facilities. If a patient’s condition improves, they are always able to return home.
Respite or Crisis Care
Provided on a short-term basis in the event of a caregiver being unable to continue taking care of the patient, respite care allows for a few days of around-the-clock treatment. This type of care is a temporary solution, offered approximately every 90 days.