Just when it seems that a person has no choices left, hospice care can offer many options. One of the great advantages to hospice care is offering the individual and their family a great range of choices.

Hospice is not a place, it’s a type of care. You may receive hospice care in your home, in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, in a special “hospice room” of a hospital, or any other location that you choose. Many people are surprised that hospice patients are free to travel if they are able. Hospice patients are encouraged to continue close relationships with loved ones, including pets.

Symptom management is another wonderful aspect of hospice care. The care team, which may include a doctor, nurse, home health aide, pharmacist and trained volunteers, monitor the patient’s comfort. Pain, nausea, reactions to medication, fever, etc. can be minimized through a variety of options. Some hospice patients choose to try massage, music or meditating. The hospice team will brainstorm ways to relieve symptoms for each individual; if swallowing has become difficult, pain medications may be given via an adhesive patch on the skin.

For information on hospice agencies serving Dallas County, call Health Navigation at 515-993-3750.