Discussing hospice care with a loved one can be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s a necessary one. The primary goal of hospice is twofold: help patients pass peacefully, while also providing support for the person’s loved ones throughout the entire process. 

There are so many benefits to electing hospice benefits early if your loved one is at a skilled nursing facility or long-term care center. Most importantly, the person is able to stay at the center during their last months of life, so you don’t have to worry about the challenges of transportation, or the impacts that transitioning your loved one to an unfamiliar environment could bring. Additionally, the earlier hospice care is elected, the earlier that hospice staff can begin aligning their care to that of the family’s wishes and goals. 

Whether hospice care is being provided by the facility or an outside provider, it’s critical that there’s good communication between the family, employees, hospice staff, and all caregivers involved in your loved one’s care. In this blog, I’ll share some of the main benefits of electing hospice benefits early.

Family Support

Hospice staff can help teach family members how to care for the terminally ill person, educate them about the care process, and provide them support they otherwise might not have during this difficult time of transition. More than that, though, is that hospice specialists are also one more person advocating for the patient. They can clarify patient wishes to all who are involved in their care, and also help to establish better patient and physician relationships and family dynamics, which takes further stress off of the family.

Family Counseling

Support was briefly covered in the previous point, but it’s worth elaborating more on how critical counseling services can be. Hospice care isn’t just about guiding and supporting patients, it’s also about caring for family members as well. Counseling can happen throughout the entire process, but grief and bereavement counseling is also available after a loved one has passed away. End-of-life should be a calming and peaceful experience for the loved one and their family.

Personalized Care Goals

Your loved one’s care should be personalized from day one, and the same goes for their end-of-life care as well. The earlier that all parties can begin talking about the person’s care, the more in-control that hospice staff and family members can be. Choosing hospice care in advance allows hospice staff to control and reduce a patient’s discomfort and pain, while also increasing quality of life for the time they have left. 

A family’s time should be spent with their loved one during their last moments, so let the facility and hospice staff support you and your loved one so it can be the best final moments possible.