If you or a loved one has a terminal illness, it’s time to consider hospice care. This model of care has an undeserved stigma attached to it, but families who do choose hospice care near Memphis discover that it offers many benefits. Terminally ill caregiving is difficult for families to handle by themselves. Hospice opens up new possibilities for gracious and dignified living toward the end of life.
When Curative Treatments Aren’t Working
Modern medicine can work miracles, but sometimes, it just isn’t enough. Gravely ill patients do have the option of considering clinical trials when they have exhausted other treatment possibilities. But sometimes, clinical trials aren’t a possibility either if the patient isn’t eligible for them or there are no appropriate clinical trials being offered nearby. When medical treatments intended to cure the disease are no longer a feasible option, hospice care is a wise decision.
When Curative Treatments Do More Harm Than Good
Some patients have the option to choose curative treatments that are intended to extend life, but are not expected to cure the disease. For example, patients with advanced lung cancer might have access to some of the newer medications intended to give them a few more months of life. But not all patients want to take this route. Some curative treatments, especially for terminal illnesses like advanced cancer, can cause complications that may reduce quality of life. If aggressive medical care isn’t the answer, then perhaps hospice care is.
When Families Need Flexible Options and Sensitive Care
Hospice care does not have to involve confinement to a hospital bed in a lonely facility. It’s actually a flexible choice that treats patients and their families with the respect and dignity they deserve. Many hospice patients remain in their own homes, surrounded by their loved ones. Every hospice patient’s care plan is customized to meet his or her needs—and the needs of the family. A care plan may include placing durable medical equipment in the home, such as oxygen therapy equipment. Contrary to popular belief, hospice patients do continue to receive medical care. They can receive any medical care that can manage symptoms and improve quality of life. This is known as palliative care, and it allows patients to live the remainder of their lives with dignity and grace.
Spine surgery is a major life event, and it’s important to be thoroughly prepared for the recovery process. Once you transition home after the surgery , you can expect to require in-home care, such as the services available from an assisted living provider. This is especially important if you do not have family close by to help you out around the house. After your spine surgery, you can count on an in-home caregiver in Memphis to handle meal prep and housework for you.
Listen to the nurse navigator featured in this video to learn more about recovering from spine surgery. She points out that patients can generally expect to be told not to bend or twist their torsos, or lift any objects heavier than 10 pounds. It’s also important to follow your doctor’s discharge instructions. An assisted living provider could help you out by giving you medication reminders.
Caring for elderly patients can be challenging, especially when they are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. This common form of dementia often causes the loss of appetite and, subsequently, unintended weight loss. Significant weight loss can bring its own health complications. If you’re having trouble coaxing your loved one to eat regularly, an in-home caregiver in Memphis may be able to help.
Reduce mealtime distractions.
Sometimes, people with Alzheimer’s have trouble during mealtimes because the environment is too cluttered or noisy, or because they cannot multitask well. Turn off the TV and radio at mealtimes, and clear the table of clutter. If these steps aren’t sufficient to convince the individual to eat, try serving just one or two types of food at a time.
Keep your loved one company during meals.
People are social creatures and often prefer to eat in the company of others. If it isn’t possible for you to sit with your loved one during each meal, it may be time to hire an elder care provider to give your loved one the companionship and practical care he or she needs. When you are able to dine with your loved one, make eye contact and convey positivity with your facial expressions. Your loved one may be more likely to eat if you are eating, too. Some individuals may do better with quiet, pleasant conversation, while others are too distracted by talking.
Make eating as easy as possible.
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, managing eating utensils becomes more difficult. An elder care provider can prepare meals that work well as finger foods. Instead of salad, serve crudité. Instead of grilled chicken breast, serve chicken strips.
Serve smaller meals and snacks frequently.
It’s not always practical to expect a person with Alzheimer’s to eat a large meal. It’s often more feasible to gently coax him or her to eat small snacks between meals. Try serving nutritional supplement drinks or soft foods, such as eggs, pudding, or smoothies.
Prepare your loved one’s favorite foods.
Nutritious, well-balanced meals are important, but sometimes, it’s better to choose your battles wisely. Preparing your loved one’s favorite meals, even if they aren’t particularly healthy, can help stimulate his or her appetite.
If you’re reaching the age when you’re starting to think about assisted living, it might also be time to revisit your nutritional needs. Caregivers in Memphis note that the amount of specific nutrients a person needs can change throughout life. Your doctor can let you know if your meal plan could benefit from some adjustments. Elder care providers also stress the importance of drinking plenty of water later in life, as a person’s awareness of thirst declines with age.
Watch this featured video to learn about the six categories of essential nutrients you need in your diet. You’ll also learn about adding other nutrients such as resveratrol, carotenoids, phytosterols, and phytoestrogens to support your good health. If you’re having trouble preparing nutritious meals for yourself, an in-home care provider can help.