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Help With Hospice Care

Guide to help with what to expect with a dying loved one.

Palliative Hospice Care

You May be a care giver or a child or a friend of a loved one who is ill to the point  that there is no hope of recovery. At this point the person is considered to be in palliative care. This is caring for their needs and and making them comfortable until they die.

Palliative care and hospice care focus on comfort not  on curing a disease process. It is recognizing that life is not permanent and that quality is better than quantitiy. That is it is better to have a few days pain free than it is to have an extra few days just alive.

Palliative diagnosis can be made with only a few days of life left or perhaps months, depending on how fast the disease process is advancing. It is not a statement of how long a person will live.

Techniques for Palliative Care

Modern science has given us many tools to help a person who is in a palliative state. many are dependant on the specific disease that is affecting your loved one.

In general pain relief is one of the key aspects of Hospice care. This is often accomplished with morphine or morphine derivatives. A side effect of morphine is to reduce breathing stress, which often helps calm a person.

Hospice Care measures may also include mechanical devices such air filled mattress pads. These special oscilation air mattresses are designed to to change pressures over time. This helps to alleviate the problems of bed sores from pressure in one spot, if the person can not move.

Simple and often over-looked practice of palliative care is mouth care. this is simply swarbing a person's mouth with a special water soaked sponge when they can not do this themselves. Think of when you are sick and and have a stuffed nose how dry your mouth gets as you breathe through it. Many Palliative patients mouth breathe and can't moisten their mouth. The solution is frequent moistening by either staff or family.

Washing is usually performed as a sponge bath. A dieing person may sweat a lot and will need clothing and bedding changed frequently to stay fresh and comfortable. Obviously Clean sheets and Adaptive Cothing wil be needed often for comfort.