Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice, or should I raise it first?The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy or friends. Family members may also call Columbus Hospice to request that we assess their loved one's situation to determine if hospice care is best for the patient.
Must someone be with the patient at all times of the day?
In the early weeks of care, depending on the patient's condition, it is usually not necessary for someone to be with the patient at all times. Later, however, since one of the most common fears of patients is the fear of dying alone, Columbus Hospice generally recommends someone be there continuously.
While family and friends must be relied on to give most of the care, we provide professional caregivers and volunteers to assist with errands and to provide a break and time away for the primary caregivers.
Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
No! Hospices do nothing either to speed up or to slow down the dying process. Just as doctors and midwives lend their support and expertise during the time of child birth, so hospice provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the dying process.
How does Hospice "manage pain?"
We believe that physical pain must be relieved first and foremost, but that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as the physical pain; Columbus Hospice addresses each.
Our nurses and physicians are up to date on the latest medications and methods for the control of pain and the relief of symptoms. Columbus Hospice also uses specialists in massage, music therapy and nutrition counseling to assist the patient and assure their comfort. Finally, various counselors, including chaplains, are available to assist family members as well as patients.
What is hospice's success rate in battling pain?
Very high. Using combinations of medication, counseling and therapies, most patients can be kept pain free and comfortable.