Learn what to expect
The end of life a person’s life is a difficult time for their family, and that’s an understatement. When it comes to making decisions about a loved one’s care, hospice provides valuable support. In hospice care, we often talk about “transitioning.” This does not refer to transitioning into hospice care itself, but rather means when a person enters the final phase of their journey. Although death is hard to discuss, the team at Agape Hospice NW handles the subject with compassion. Learn more about transitioning in hospice and what it means for your loved one.
A patient who is “transitioning” in hospice is actively approaching the end of their life. This is different from a terminal diagnosis—the transition is marked by physical and emotional changes that signal the body is beginning to shut down. During this time, focus is put on providing comfort to the patient and support to their family.
What to Expect While Transitioning in Hospice
Every patient’s journey in hospice care is unique, but there are some common experiences that families may encounter during the transition period. Patients may become less alert, experience changes in breathing, and lose mobility. They may also experience changes in their appetite and sleeping patterns. Sometimes, patients are unable to eat or drink altogether. As the patient’s physical condition declines, the hospice team will work with the family to manage pain and other symptoms, ensuring comfort in the patient’s final hours or days.
How to Prepare for the Transition
The transition of a loved one isn’t something most families want to think about. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to have a plan in place when the end comes. This plan may include ways to ensure the patient is comfortable and has access to pain relief measures. Family members should expect to communicate with hospice staff and feel free to ask questions. While end-of-life care focuses on the person with a terminal diagnosis, it also supports grieving families. Families should consider their own needs and take advantage of counseling and bereavement support.
Ways Hospice Care Can Help
Hospice care provides invaluable support for patients and families during the transition period. As the patient’s needs change, the hospice team can offer expert guidance on managing symptoms, providing spiritual support, and ensuring that the patient’s wishes are respected. While family caregivers often do an excellent job of keeping their loved ones comfortable, hospice professionals have the knowledge and resources to ensure a peaceful end-of-life phase.
Agape Hospice NW Is Here to Offer Support
Transitioning into the final hours of life isn’t easy for anyone. However, with the right support and preparation, families can navigate this period with greater peace of mind. The compassionate team at Agape Hospice NW provides support to patients and their families, helping them find closure and come to terms with passing. If you have questions about what to expect during this time, always feel free to contact our hospice professionals.