Hospice Care for Congestive Heart Failure Patients
In a recent post, we talked a bit about the challenges end stage congestive heart failure patients face. Short of a heart transplant, there is no cure for the disease. So doctors typically manage their patient’s symptoms until the heart finally gives out. That leaves end stage congestive heart failure patients with some tough decisions to make. Chief among them, is how aggressively they’ll pursue treatment and how much quality-of-life they’re willing to sacrifice in the process. Many end-stage patients make the tough decision to discontinue treatment. That’s where hospice care comes in.
Hospice Care Empowers Patients and Improves Quality of Life
The symptoms of end-stage congestive heart failure can be painful. Patients often have difficulty breathing and sleeping. And the prospect of facing a life-limiting disease can cause great anxiety and depression. Hospice care teams work together to treat the whole patient, with the goal of removing physical and emotional distress and improve their quality-of-life.
Every day our patients and their families tell us, “we wish we would have known about hospice sooner.” That’s because in many cases, hospice patients see immediate improvements in their pain and comfort levels. These improvements allow patients to more deliberately interact with their family and make important decisions about how their own care will progress.
Patient choice is another important component of hospice care. Hospice professionals encourage their patients to take an active role in their care, and to make specific decisions about the circumstances under which that care will cease. That’s a big reason why hospice care is linked to higher family satisfaction. Under hospice care, family members won’t have to make quick care decisions, unsure what the patient really wants. Instead, hospice patients plan out their care in advance And hospice care teams dedicate themselves to seeing those wishes fulfilled. Those important decisions allow patients to regain some control over what must feel like an out-of-control situation.
Don’t Wait to Seek Hospice Care for Congestive Heart Failure Patients
It’s a common misconception that hospice care is reserved for patients who are close to death. And as a result, many patients and families wait too long to ask for a hospice referral. Unfortunately this ultimately comes at the cost of the patient’s quality-of-life. In reality, hospice care is for patients with a prognosis of 6 months or less to live. Of course, predicating lifespan is very difficult. So end stage congestive heart failure patients and their families should ask their doctor about hospice care early and keep the lines of communication open during treatment. The patient will benefit greatly through this approach.
Southland Hospice Can Help Phoenix Area Congestive Heart Failure Patients
If you live in the greater Phoenix area and you or someone you know are battling congestive heart failure, Southland Hospice can help. We can tell you what signals to watch for that will signal it’s time for hospice. And once that time comes, we can provide care in the patient’s own home. Call us today at (602)-497-4100 or fill out our contact form and we’ll reply right away. The battle against heart failure can be a long and difficult one. But don’t be afraid to ask for help. It will make that tough battle just a little bit easier.