Before people plan funerals at funeral homes in Dayton, Ohio, they may find that their loved ones need end of life care so that they can die surrounded by family in the comfort of their homes.
Aging in place has become popular with older Americans because it allows them to stay in their homes until they die or until they live with their children when they are no longer able to live safely alone.
Institutional aging in assisted living facilities or nursing homes and dying in hospitals is something fewer and fewer people who are older want to do. In the same vein, many people, young and old, who have terminal illnesses decide they want to live the rest of their lives at home.
Living at home or with family until death enables people to be in familiar surroundings with the people they love and care about, so it is no surprise that more people are choosing this option of the end of their lives.
Family members provide much of the unpaid caregiving for their terminally ill or aging family members. The sacrifices that family members make are well worth being able to be involved with the care of their loved ones and to make sure that they have the very best care available in their homes.
That is why having in-home care services involved when a family is taking care of an older or dying loved one. There are three primary types of care that available at home.
The first type is home health care. Home health care is available after acute illnesses that require hospitalization. Once the acute medical issue that resulted in hospitalization, home health care will end.
It is important that family members who are caring for loved ones at home ask for home health care to begin after discharge from the hospital. Most hospitals will offer home health care, but some do not include that option in their discharge procedures.
Home health care gives the family round the clock medical support. If home health care believes the loved one needs to be seen in the hospital, they will instruct the family to take them there instead of sending a nurse to the home.
In most cases, a home health nurse comes to the home once a week and coordinates all medical care with the primary care provider. This eliminates countless trips to doctors for assessments and medication changes.
In addition, occupational therapy (help relearning daily activity skills), physical therapy (help with strength and conditioning) and help with personal grooming (usually twice a week), are available with home health care if they are needed.
However, once the need for home health care ends, loved ones can still get medical care at home with palliative care. This requires an order from the primary care provider. The main difference between home health care and palliative care is the frequency of scheduled nurse visits. However, if there is an urgent need, a nurse visit can be requested.
When no other treatments are available or loved ones decide they no longer want treatment for a chronic or terminal illness, then hospice care is available in the home. Hospice care includes the services of nurses, chaplains, social workers, and home aides. Families can choose which services they want for their loved ones.
Hospice ensures that loved ones who are dying are comfortable until the end of life, and hospice will be there to oversee things, including transportation to the funeral home, when loved ones die.