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Caring Until The End: Considerations For In-Home Hospice Care

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If your loved one is near the end of their life because of terminal illness or age-related problems, they might choose to have hospice care instead of further treatment. Hospice care focuses on providing for the comfort of the patient and keeping them calm and happy until they pass away. This can be done at a hospice facility, but some families might wish to have hospice care at home. In-home hospice care is possible, but it is not always practical. If you are exploring your loved one's options for hospice care, here are some considerations that can help you know if in-home care is a good choice. 

1. Your home has the space for medical care equipment. 

Sometimes hospice care requires some extra medical care equipment. Your loved one will need a room that can accommodate a hospital-style bed. Your loved one might need oxygen tanks or monitors. If you have a spare room that can make all of these accessible, then your home might be a good fit for hospice care. 

2. Your home has the right environment for hospice care. 

The needs of each hospice patient are different. Some might need a calm, relaxed environment. Other might still want to be in the thick of family activities. Talk to your loved one about what they hope their last days will look like. If your loved one wants peace and quiet but you have a house full of young children, your home might not be the best option for hospice. You also need to consider how much privacy your home has and how accessible your home is for basic needs. Will your loved one have access to meal and help to the restroom? Does your shower have grab bars or a seat that makes bathing easier? These considerations are important before you decide to do hospice care in your home. 

3. You are prepared to provide care for as long as necessary. 

Sometimes, people think that hospice care will only be for a few weeks. However, some people can require hospice care for months. Just be prepared for the possibility that the hospice situation in your home could last longer than you expect. 

4. You can get professional in-home assistance.

You can provide some care for your family member, but the help of a professional nurse might also be required. You should contact a hospice care provider for information about how you can address your loved one's medical needs during their time in hospice.