Withdrawing from life can be more complicated than withdrawing from a bank account.
If someone you love is dying, it can be hard to know how to best help them. A lot is going on emotionally and spiritually when the end of life approaches, and it can be tough to know how to react.
This is why hospice care is so vital. Hospice services understand how to best support grieving families.
Knowing the hospice stages of death ahead of time can help you prepare yourself and your loved ones for what to expect when end of life hospice stages approach. Here, we’ll outline each part.
At this stage, hospice staff works like a family, listening to and supporting the patients and their loved ones in the most comfortable and dignified way. The patient is typically faced with pain, discomfort, and emotional distress. Hospice staff strives to alleviate as much suffering as possible.
On the other hand, the family is faced with grief, anxiety, and sadness. The hospice staff walks them through the process and provides counseling and guidance. During this stage, hospice works to establish goals to maintain a sense of comfort and peace while providing necessary medical care.
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This stage is considered the end stage of a patient’s illness and can last a few days up to an entire month. Initially, when death approaches, changes to appetite, alertness, sleeping patterns, and mobility may start to occur. The patient may also experience disorientation, increased pain, increased difficulty with breathing, and decreased awareness of their surroundings.
As the patient progresses through this stage, they may become increasingly less communicative. They may also stop eating and drinking altogether. Family members should take notice, address any requests, and demonstrate their support during this time.
The transition stage of end-of-life hospice care is often the most difficult for loved ones. This is the time when the person has become increasingly close to death. They are rapidly losing consciousness and weakening.
Family members can expect to see ever more frequent trips to the hospital or care facility. They can also expect periods of unconsciousness or semi-consciousness.
It is during this stage that the person will become completely unresponsive, and their breathing will become softer and shallower. As the end is approaching, the present changes in physical appearance can be quite heartbreaking. Many times medical intervention is unable to be of assistance.
This is the last stage in end-of-life hospice care. It is marked by the cessation of many functions of the body and is considered the beginning of the death process.
Death may take place in a few hours to days during this stage, and family and friends of the patient gather to offer support and comfort. Once death occurs, the hospice team provides bereavement services, including grief and loss counseling and support for some time.
Understanding the End of Life Hospice Stages
Approaching death and end-of-life care can seem confusing and overwhelming. It is important to remember that hospice care provides a safe, comfortable environment and trained professionals to assist you in your journey.
It is highly advised that those facing end-of-life hospice stages situation investigate the possibilities of hospice care immediately.
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