It is a trying time for everyone involved when a loved one is afflicted with a condition that is either terminal or long-term and progressive. You need to start seriously considering getting them some kind of professional help; the question is, what kind? Which opportunities are open to them? The following will explain the choices available to you, as provided by the staff of TIB pharmacy.
What Exactly Is Meant by Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is something that a lot of people have heard of, but what exactly is it? Care provided in a nursing home setting is the most used synonym for long-term care. As you probably know, some people call a nursing home for many years, while others call it home for only a few days. The typical length of time in a nursing home is around two years; however, this number can vary greatly and depends on a wide range of conditions.
Consequently, even though we call the care provided in nursing homes “long-term” care, we don’t have a good explanation for what that phrase means. Some people consider something to be on the long-term while others would not.
When we read obituaries in the newspaper, it is common for the writer to state that the deceased passed away “after a protracted illness.” In most cases, the term refers to cancer; nevertheless, it can also indicate any one of several hundred different diseases. It could be a condition they have struggled with their whole lives, like cerebral palsy, or an illness that was diagnosed with them later in life, like Parkinson’s disease.
Is Hospice Care a Protracted Process?
When discussing hospice care, we typically mean something only provided for a limited time. Individuals are only eligible to receive hospice care if their life expectancy is shorter than six months at admission.
While looking for the appropriate care for a loved one, it is essential to clearly understand the distinctions between long-term and short-term care, even though these distinctions might be somewhat hazy. Only patients who have stopped receiving treatment that could save their lives and has been given a prognosis of fewer than six months to live are eligible for hospice care.
We give comfort care in hospice, such as medication for pain and emotional requirements, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication. Patients, however, are not provided with therapies that could save their lives, such as chemotherapy, dialysis, or insulin injections.
What kinds of services do pharmacies that serve hospice patients offer?
Hospice care is comprised of many moving parts, one of which is the hospice pharmacy. When a patient is said to be in hospice care, it indicates that they are no longer looking for a cure but instead want treatment for their pain and other symptoms. In addition to physical care, hospice services may also include emotional and spiritual counseling and support, and these services may be offered in the following environments:
The residence of the patient or a member of the patient’s family
An independent hospice care environment
A hospice program can be found in many different institutions.
Assisted living community or long-term care institution that also includes a hospice unit.
Hospice pharmacies typically have a staff of highly-trained pharmacists on hand to administer medication therapy management (MTM), comfort kits, infusion therapy, and enteral therapy. There is some duplication of labor between the roles of a community pharmacist and a hospice pharmacist, specifically in the following areas:
- Educating patients about their medications and the mechanisms behind how they operate
- Providing patients with information regarding which medications can cause harmful interactions with one another
- Making certain that patients receive the amount of medication that their respective physicians have recommended
- Hospice pharmacists collaborate with medical professionals to provide patients with the best possible end-of-life care. In addition, they supervise difficult situations involving MTM, offer additional consultations to patients, and educate patients and family members regarding end-of-life care.
What Constitutes Palliative Care?
Talking to your friend or family member’s physician is the first thing you should do if you do not know their prognosis. If their physician feels they have at least another six months to live, they do not qualify for hospice care. It is possible to seek assistance in receiving palliative care if you can treat your loved one at home while undergoing treatment for their ailment.
Palliative care and hospice care are quite similar in that they both aim to offer patients with both physical and emotional comfort; however, hospice care does not accommodate patients who are still undergoing treatment for their ailment, whereas palliative care does.
Your Family May Benefit from TIB Pharmacy Assistance
When a loved one is suffering a major illness such as COPD, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or another serious chronic or acute illness, many families cannot provide proper care for the patient at home. Long-term care is an excellent option when it comes to situations like these. You can make arrangements for residents of long-term care institutions to receive palliative care and the necessary medications and medical treatment they get.
If there has been a severe deterioration in their condition, and death appears to be close at hand, you may choose to admit your relative into hospice care at that time.