Home Hospice’s Role in Reducing Caregiver Strain Essay

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Home Hospice’s Role in Reducing Caregiver Strain Kennesaw State University Nursing 3320 April 6, 2012 Home Hospice’s Role in Reducing Caregiver Strain Morrie Schwartz once said, “Everything that gets born dies.” Death is the one shared experience every human has regardless of race, age, or gender. Unfortunately, in America, death is more often dealt with by denial, the refusal to believe it could happen to us. But when one is face with the end of life through a chronic or terminal illness, it become impossible to deny. Of the limited data available, most people report wanting to spend their last days at home around family (Holdsworth, 2011). The purpose of home hospice care is to support the patient, their families, and the caregivers through this process. Home hospice is a valuable resource for people with terminal illness who want to be in familiar surroundings in their final days. A key component to hospice is discovering the patient’s end of life wishes. This conversation involves the medical team, patient, and those wo will be caring for the patient. As a hospice worker, it is not only necessary to support the patient’s wishes but work with their caregivers to accept the wishes and help carry them out. The conversation should center on palliative care, emotional support, organ donation, and expectations for death. For these conversations to be beneficial to all parties, the hospice staff need to build a relationship with the patient and caregivers (Holdsworth, 2011). Hospice has experienced a growth spurt over the past ten years. The core of hospice care philosophy is family focused. Family is integral to the end-of-life processes hospice patients go through. The families face stressful experiences including disruption of day to day life, family conflict, financial issues, and increased caring needs. Due to staffing in hospice agencies, often the

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