Comfort care is a medical service provided to those that are terminally ill. When a patient enters comfort care, it is because they are considered to be incurable. Comfort care is provided by a hospice. It is the job of the hospice to keep the patient comfortable. The main thing the comfort care hospice nurse focuses on is keeping the patient physically comfortable. As people are dying they can often experience uncomfortable things like pain, fatigue, skin irritation, problems breathing and sensitivity to temperature.
Pain This is one of the most common discomforts experienced by those in comfort care. Hospice nurses help to alleviate that through the use of different medication and techniques. When a person is in comfort care because they are near the end of their life, it’s important to help manage their pain.
Avoiding the use of pain medication because of fears of addiction are less important than treating the pain that the patient is experiencing at the moment. Some people worry that strong opiates like morphine, which are often used in hospice care, will shorten a patient’s remaining life. The majority of experts think that is is not true.
Problems Breathing Many people will experience a shortness of breath while they are in comfort care. This uncomfortable feeling can be relieved or lessened by circulating a fan or opening a window. Sometimes pain medication can help as well.
How To Pay For Comfort Care? As you or a loved one realize you may require comfort care, you may be wondering about how you could possibly pay for it. Luckily, hospice care is covered by Medicare and Medicaid. If you don’t qualify for these programs, most private insurers and HMOs cover it as well. Most hospice agencies accept Medicare and Medicaid.
How To Know When Comfort Care Is Necessary? For a patient to be eligible for comfort care they have to be certified by two doctors that they have less than six months to live. A plan of care will then be created by the patient’s medical team. A patient’s medical team will usually be made up of a patient’s primary care, hospice nurses, a social worker, home health aides and a hospice doctor.
This team will create a plan to help alleviate any suffering and make sure a patient’s needs are fully met. Full-comfort care can involve any services a patient may need from speech therapy to clergy. Contact our team of professionals at Pleasantville Hospice for assistance.