One of the biggest hospice myths is your loved one won’t have access to important medications for symptom management and pain relief. Put simply, hospice care in Oklahoma provides comfort and care to the patient. If their existing prescriptions are bringing them relief, then they’ll continue to take it.
Care is Paramount
Older patients may be taking several medications they’ve maintained for years. Upon review, and with patient and family consent, they can be reduced or removed thereby actually increasing the quality of life during hospice care.
However, a patient with heart disease, high blood pressure or any other treatable disease could continue taking their regular medicine while under hospice care. The purpose is to manage symptoms and provide comfort.
It must be noted that in later stages of hospice care, a patient may have difficulty swallowing or absorbing their medications. Hospice can make a recommendation to adjust medications to maintain the best level of care and comfort possible.
Adjusting Medication During Terminal Stages
A newly diagnosed patient will undoubtedly continue their regular medications, but there could be a time a drug other than pain management will be necessary. A patient who is imminently terminal will have difficulty swallowing, so medications may be administered via oral drops, patches, ointments or injections. Their regular medication at this point may be too difficult to continue taking and cause more pain than relief.
Don’t Feel Pressured, Know Your Rights
A hospice company should never pressure a patient to stop regular medication if it would destabilize the patient. There is no rule by the federal government that regular medications should be stopped for access to hospice. Any attempt to do so would be a violation of the patient’s rights.
Stopping Hospice Services to Continue Treatment
While your loved one can’t seek curative treatments for their terminal illness on hospice care, they can choose to discontinue services at any point. New treatments may become available, and they might want to explore the new options. They might also be showing signs of improvement or recovery. Choosing hospice is never a permanent decision.
The sole purpose of hospice is providing comfort for the terminally ill, not seeking cures nor hastening the process.
We’d love to be on your team as you or your loved one navigate through this process, we are here to help with any questions you might have in regards to hospice care. Call us at 405-360-2400 in Norman or 580-332-6900 in Ada to learn more about our services. For more information on the components of hospice, download our free guide.