Some people may have a misconception about hospice care in Dubuque and elsewhere that believes that ‘moving to hospice care’ means everyone is automatically giving up on offering any sort of medical care, something that’s far from true!
While the type of coverage might change as someone transitions from traditional medical care, it never means that anyone is left alone to fade away.
In fact, as the staff at Above and Beyond Home Care and Hospice will tell you, patients are able to receive a wide range of services to help them physically and mentally. Clients can even receive access to social work professionals who can assist with financial or related paperwork that might come up at this time of life, include estate planning or funeral arrangements.
Above and Beyond Home Health Care can also bring in other experts and skilled therapists who can all offer ways to help patients feel relaxed at this challenging moment in time, and also help them feel slightly less anxious about what’s ahead.
This is all a big part of a health care philosophy called palliative care, which focuses more on helping a patient achieve better quality of life, rather than trying a variety of risky and dangerous treatment methods or uncomfortable procedures.
While traditional medicine sometimes wants to try and ‘cure’ what people are battling, often in a hospital setting, hospice care allows people to spend their final days at home with their family. A provider may work closely with them
Their doctor or provider may or may not want to continue offering direct care, but he or she still will likely be interested in the rest of their journey. Hospice programs also may provide the services of a physician along with a variety of nurses with different skill levels and abilities. Depending on a patient’s needs, some may visit on a regular basis, or others can be full-time or part-time caregivers.
Visits from skilled therapists are especially welcome to patients, whether they’re receiving home care or hospice care.
Either way, they may appreciate the relief that comes from helping their muscles or building skills and muscles.
For instance, massage therapy is designed to ease muscle cramping and soreness. But it also has benefits including relaxation and better sleep – something that isn’t always easy to come by some days.
It’s also an opportunity to connect with someone else, namely the massage therapist, who may be a regular visitor.
The same is true for physical therapy.
Here, a therapist will visit on a regular basis to work with a patient to improve or regain their strength and basic abilities. Not only can it help their mobility and reduce the risk of injury, but it also can help reduce pain.
Physical therapists have received training in how muscles and bones perform together and what needs to be improved, such as someone who may have lost some of their abilities after an injury, illness, or a medical condition like a stroke.
All ages can benefit from physical therapy, but it’s especially in demand for seniors who may be dealing with a variety of injuries as well as conditions that may have worsened over the years.
What it isn’t
Physical therapy differs from occupational therapy, which is a service that hospice patients also may be considering. This type of therapy focuses on learning or re-learning specific skills to safely perform certain tasks, everything from getting out of bed in the morning to getting dressed and grooming to safely cooking a meal in the kitchen.
Occupational therapy can help provide a patient with certain skills to allow them to continue living independently, something many seniors prize.
But physical therapy can also be especially useful for patients receiving hospice care.
They may be have been placed on hospice due to a certain health condition or health conditions, which may have caused them to lose or reduce some of their physical abilities. They may be in pain or have mobility problems that make it difficult to exercise regularly.
Although a doctor may prescribe pain medication for general pain relief, it still may be difficult to move around.
A physical therapist will work with the patient to find ways to build up muscles and general coordination. Along with offering a range of exercises during each scheduled session, the therapist may also assign “homework” like additional exercises for the patient to continue to work on during the days when there aren’t any sessions scheduled.
This fall is the perfect time to learn more. October is considered National Physical Therapy Month, an opportunity when people in this profession invite their communities to take time to help educate.
Interestingly, as awareness grows about the advantages of palliative care, at least from a patient’s perspective, one trend is to offer more physical therapy. According to the Indian Journal of Palliative Care, physical therapy helps patients in the final days, and these improved abilities also improve their safety and provide a nice boost to their quality of life.
Above and Beyond Home Health Care is happy to offer the services of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who are happy to put together customized programs for patients, depending on their particular health needs.