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What You Need To Know About Oklahoma Hospice Care

By Anna Sanders

The end of life is a difficult process for many. Instead of a peaceful passing, those dying, and their loved ones, experience pain, sadness, and discouragement. It is a time when people can feel most alone, but it is important to know that compassionate and understanding professionals are available whenever and wherever they are needed. Organizations like Oklahoma hospice care can make a loved one's last days easier and pain free.

Individuals and family members have a lot of questions at this time. A common question is when discussing this subject is appropriate. It will never be easy for loved ones, but discussing the wants and needs of the individual is much better done in advance. This will be one decision already made and out of the way when the patient's final stage of life comes.

Hospice must be requested by someone in the family. Once a request has been made, the agency will process it promptly, usually with forty-eight hours. A meeting will be set up between an agency representative and the family members. If the situation is especially severe, the process can be initiated faster than the normal forty-eight hour time frame.

Each patient is given a team of professionals to work with. This team may include a chaplain, social worker, volunteer, home health worker, and registered nurse. The whole team works with the individual, and the family members, to establish a plan that best fits the needs of the patient. These individuals have a number of clients at any given times. It's not unusual for nurses to have more than a dozen patients. A social worker may have twice that many.

As an illness reaches the final stages there may be a significant amount of pain involved. Palliative care staff members are trained to make this time as comfortable and pain free as possible. They work closely with the patient's physicians so they have a firm grasp on the kinds of procedures, therapies, and medications being used. The staff continues to meet with the physicians to discuss any modifications to the ongoing treatment.

Hospice workers will go wherever there is need. A patient doesn't have to be in the hospital to receive this kind of help. The staff ministers to patients in nursing homes and other long term facilities. Palliative care workers have agreements in place with these institutions that allow them to enter the premise to work with their clients.

Sometimes the needs of the patient can become more than a family can provide for in a home setting. When this happens, there are freestanding hospice houses and residential centers that provide inpatient care. Neither Medicaid and Medicare will cover the cost of these options. Before the need, it is a good idea to discuss insurance options that might cover the cost if it becomes necessary.

The last of life is often difficult. It may be painful, messy and prolonged. There are resources available to help any family that requests it. Hospice is designed to make a difficult process more bearable.

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