Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, patients who have been diagnosed in the early stages of the terminal cancer usually stand the best chance at a longer survival. But when the cancer is diagnosed in the later stages, pain relief or palliative treatments are usually the best options for mesothelioma patients. As the mesothelioma progresses and symptoms intensify, patients probably need to consider hospice care. Generally available to mesothelioma patients with a life expectancy of fewer than six months, hospice is a holistic, compassionate care that can be provided in the comfort of the home.
Most hospice care services include nurses, doctors, aides, dietitians, chaplains, and bereavement counselors. Known as a specialized type of care with a spiritual, physical, and emotional focus, the primary goal of hospice is to ensure that mesothelioma patients are always comfortable during treatment. Since hospice professionals thoroughly understand the many symptoms and challenges that this disease can present, they can develop a personalized plan for the patient.
Most mesothelioma patients experience respiratory issues such as trouble breathing and chronic coughing. To make sure that the patients stay comfortable, a hospice professional will use specific positioning techniques to optimize airflow while they are sitting, standing, and sleeping.
As the cancer progresses, many mesothelioma patients will also suffer from digestive issues. Such symptoms may prevent patients from intaking sufficient nutrients and fluids. The dietary expert that is included in the hospice care will make sure that patients maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated.
Almost all mesothelioma patients struggle with their emotional wellbeing during hospice care. That’s why the hospice nurses, doctors, aides, and other care professionals are always sensitive to a patient’s needs. Knowing that living with mesothelioma isn’t easy, hospice care professionals offer a variety of services to support their patients’ emotional health. Support groups are typically offered to mesothelioma patients while non-medical care like massages, yoga, music, and art are available to improve patients’ overall quality of life. In addition, most hospice care teams include bereavement counselors who work with the patients and family members to manage stress.
In most cases, hospice care is available to mesothelioma patients who have stopped responding to treatments. Regardless of where the care is being provided, the right hospice company will offer a wide range of emotional and physical support services for mesothelioma patients. Additional components of hospice care usually include household chores, medication management, hygienic needs, medical supplies/equipment, and spiritual counseling. When choosing a hospice care team, mesothelioma patients should always make sure that physical and emotional support will be at the forefront of their individualized treatment plan. While the care is usually provided in the patient’s home, hospice can also take place in the hospital, in-patient facilities, and nursing homes.