The Intersection of Hospice and Mental Health

While most people believe in an older person who requires hospice care, they picture someone suffering from a medical condition, such as cancer, brain trauma, or difficulties stemming from a fall. Those who have experienced a physical blow can, without a doubt, benefit from the healthcare and nursing help made available through home hospice care. 

However, a senior’s psychological state can also prompt the need for hospice care, whether as a component of a disorder such as Alzheimer’s or as the consequence of being confronted with the prospect of requiring hospice care. Were you aware that a person’s mental well-being can ultimately affect their physical well-being or wellness? While it’s true that psychological health is an essential component of our general health, did you also understand this? The mental disease needs a diagnosis to receive treatment, just like any other illness or injury that affects the body. 

Many people do not receive the assistance they require to promote their mental health, even though mental health is equally as vital as physical health. This can provide various difficulties in a person’s life and the medical care they receive. When a hospice patient is additionally identified with issues related to their psychological health, further measures are made to ensure that mental health support is incorporated into their individualized care plan.

What Are the Repercussions for Hospice Patients Who Do Not Receive Treatment for Their Mental Illness?

One patient’s overall health can have a domino effect of problems in other aspects of their life if it is not appropriately supported. These may include the following:

  • Conflicts within families and between relationships
  • Isolation from other people
  • a limited capacity to take pleasure in life
  • Usage of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and illicit drugs
  • Difficulty prospering in one’s place of employment or education
  • Legal and economic hurdles to overcome
  • Harming oneself or others, or both
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Problems with one’s physical health, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, a lower immune response, allergies, diabetes, and digestive disorders, are common.

All of these concerns have the potential to make a hospice patient’s life and care more difficult.

The Influence that Psychiatric Symptoms Have on One’s Life

Psychiatric symptoms can impact not only a person’s physical health but also their quality of life and capacity to respond to therapy. In addition, they may hinder a person’s ability to make choices, comprehend their circumstances, or even engage appropriately with caretakers. Seniors have access to mental health care within the context of hospice care, which can assist them in better coping with concerns related to the end of life. 

Additional hospice team members, including case services, psychiatrists, counselors, and psychologists, might be brought in to assist patients if necessary. They collaborate with the medical staff to devise a strategy for providing mental health treatments to each senior that gets to the root of the problems that each individual is experiencing. In many cases, mental health treatments include the availability of a spiritual care counselor with whom the older person can discuss their concerns.

How Does Hospice Deal with Problems Related to Mental Health?

Care for a patient’s mental health in a hospice setting can be challenging.

If all goes according to plan, a hospice person diagnosed with a mental health condition will already receive appropriate care. If the patient benefits from therapy for mental health, they can keep getting that treatment in addition to hospice care if they choose. For instance, if a patient is taking medications for their mental health, the hospice care plan would take that into account, and the patient will be able to continue taking their prescription.

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Regrettably, the mental health of many patients does not now reflect the ideal. Patients with mental health issues that are not well treated have additional problems when it comes to providing them with the treatment they require. Many patients with significant mental health issues that are not being handled cannot commit to their care goals. They frequently shift their opinions and often withdraw from hospice care. Even if it is their right to do so, if the symptoms and agony associated with the patient’s terminal disease are not adequately controlled, the situation will become even more distressing for the patient.

Taking People and Their Situations Into Account

In healthcare, we must meet more people where they are. This indicates that we must accept the decisions and conditions a patient has made in their life and collaborate with them regarding their physical, mental, and psychological capabilities and limits.

When providing hospice care, medical professionals interact with patients of various mindsets. Patients come from multiple backgrounds, each of which has distinct cultural practices, social conditions, family situations, communication methods, and mental, psychological, and spiritual obstacles. It is not their role to help the patient despite the problems; instead, they are responsible for assisting the patient through all these conditions.

When it comes to hospice mental health care, the hospice care teams must first determine whether or not the problem is genuinely a mental health problem, a symptom of the patient’s physical disease, or a side effect of the medication they are taking. Meditating, guided imagery or anti-anxiety medication may help treat specific mental health conditions. This is something that the hospice care staff can help with.

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The hospice medical team will refer the individual to a geropsychologist for more significant concerns regarding the person’s mental health. Geropsychologists are uniquely trained to assist older persons and their communities in addressing emotional problems and improving their lives.

No single approach to hospice care and mental health works for everyone. Every patient’s care plan is customized to match their specific requirements, and these plans are regularly revised to ensure that they continue to provide the highest level of service possible.

Contact Optimum Personal Care Home

Get the necessary care for the older person in your life who is suffering from a mental disease and is considering hospice treatment if you can. At Optimum Personal Care Home, we can put you in touch with the services you require so that you can participate in providing high-quality care throughout the latter stages of life as a member of the hospice team. Get in touch with us right now to find out more. We know how challenging it may be to obtain good mental health treatment while a patient is receiving hospice care. You are not alone. Visit the Optimum Personal Care Home right now to learn more about how we can be of assistance to you.