Transitioning from curative care to hospice care is often an emotional and sometimes tumultuous transition for patients and family. Facing that a loved one’s condition has declined and is not likely to be cured is a very difficult reality for many to accept, and thus the transitional period can lead to a lot of ups and downs. While the family must consider how to build a new way of life around the changes they are experiencing, there are ways hospice agencies can make the transition a little easier for everyone involved.
Key Ways Providers and Caregivers can Help Patients Transition from Hospital to Hospice
A full team of specialists, caregivers, providers, physicians, and family members may be involved with a patient that is transitioning from curative care to hospice. Coordinating between all of these people can be very difficult so it is important first and foremost to ensure that the supplies and services that a patient needs are readily accessible to them. This will enable a calmer and more smooth transition. Taking the time to patiently communicate about each phase of the process will help the transition to flow more smoothly.
Assemble a Team to Support the Transition
Making sure that you have the support and cooperation of the full team of caregivers, whether that includes family members, physicians, surgeons, nurses, or skilled caregivers is a great first step to building a solid transition from curative to palliative care. Keeping open lines of communication between all involved parties will help ease through the transition so that the patient remains as comfortable as possible. The team may want to discuss responsibilities to delineate who should be taking care of certain tasks - like acquiring proper in-home medical equipment and procuring/administering necessary medications
A hospice agency that is committed to a value-based care model already has a foundational understanding of what is needed to coordinate care so that the patient receives the best possible outcome. Improving quality of life is incredibly important, and a value-based approach is a primary way that agencies can help to facilitate a smooth and easy transition into hospice care. Reassuring family members that their loved one will be adequately cared for by all support staff, physicians, nurses, and other caregivers will give them the confidence to stay calm during a very emotional and often stressful time.