When “There’s Nothing More to be Done,” We Get to Work
“There’s nothing more we can do.”
It’s the news no family wants to hear and no physician wants to deliver.
However, just because nothing more can be done to cure the patient, that doesn’t really mean there’s nothing more that can be done. In fact, Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care can do a lot to give terminally ill patients time for meaningful moments with their families.
Symptom management is the first step to providing terminally-ill patients with a higher quality of life. When we meet a new patient, the first thing we do is have a nurse assess the patient’s medical condition. If the patient is in pain, we work to control that pain. If the patient has trouble breathing, we work to get their breathing under control using oxygen and/or medication.
Managing symptoms like constipation or nausea can also do a lot to improve a patient’s state of mind and wellbeing.
Additionally, we keep a close eye on the patient’s skin. When a patient is spending a lot of time in bed, they must be turned frequently to avoid pressure ulcers. If a patient is not being turned enough, bedsores can also occur. We work with families and caregivers to avoid these.
As we work to manage the patient’s symptoms, we also strive to provide their family and caregivers support and education. We offer training on new medications and regular visits from social workers and chaplains to ensure the family has access to resources, emotional support, and the opportunity to take a break. Hospice aides also provide regular visits to support the family in personal care of the patient including bathing.
In addition, Crossroads provides medical equipment like hospitals beds and wheelchairs and medical supplies like bandages, catheters, and incontinence supplies at no cost to the patient or family. All medication related to the patient’s terminal diagnosis is also provided at no cost. Providing these supplies and ensuring they are delivered directly to the home can provide added peace of mind to family caregivers who already may be stretched for time and money.
Quality of Life
When patients have their symptoms managed and the physical and emotional support they need, they can focus on making the most of the time they have left. They can get financial affairs in order. They can share stories and recipes. They can put old estrangements behind them. And we’re here to support them every step of the way. These final days, weeks, and months can be some of the most precious time you have with your loved one. When there’s nothing more to be done, there’s still life to be lived.
To learn more about how Crossroads supports hospice patients and their families with quality-of-life programs, please call us at 1-888-564-3405.
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