Home Hospice: Keeping your Precious Loved Ones Safe in the Comfort of Their Homes

December 30, 2020

Is it possible to have your seriously or terminally ill patients live and die at home? Absolutely, and studies show that they receive more appropriate, and much less costly care that meets their needs and preferences near the end of life.

This can be largely credited to the expertise that a hospice provider possesses with regard to end-of-life care, where they are able to address pain and other symptom management while also tending to the spiritual and social-emotional needs of patients and families. 

Hospice Provides Education to Family Caregivers

In addition to supporting the patient and their family with high quality, professional care, hospice providers must also provide education to family caregivers, who often provide the majority of their loved one’s care.  Effective communication is essential. The interdisciplinary team and the family must concur on the goals of patient care so that everyone is on the same page.  The interdisciplinary team is present in the home and are able to see the layout, the areas the patient most often uses, and what tasks will fall on one or several of the family caregivers. The team will monitor the status of care for anything that might create a threat of harm to the patient.

Family homes are not typically designed to provide healthcare, and furthermore, caregivers may vary in number and ability, which also poses a challenge.  Each person involved must effectively communicate their questions and concerns to ensure the safety of the patient as in situations of slip-and-fall hazards or moving the patient safely, for example. Furthermore, when a family visitor offers to assist, the paradigm and expectations are already in place and allows for less of a chance for misunderstanding or to make a mistake that can lead to an injury.

Hospice Educated Families about Infection Control

When working with families and caregivers, an important aspect that is discussed is infectious disease.  Below are some of the infection control guidelines we expect caregivers to follow:

  1. Maintain good personal hygiene
  • Wash your body frequently
  • Wash your hair at least twice a week
  • Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after each meal
  • Trim your fingernails and toenails weekly
  • Wear clean and laundered clothes
  • Change dirty clothing and bedding anytime you notice any soiling
  1. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
  • Before preparing, eating or serving food
  • After using the restroom, having contact with your own or another’s body fluids, and blowing or wiping your nose

       Best hand washing procedure:

  1. Wet your hands with plenty of soap and warm water
  2. Lather soap over your hands and wrists
  3. Rub the palm of one hand over the back of the other, and rub them together several times, then repeat with the other hand
  4. Interlace your fingers on both hands and rub them back and forth
  5. Clean under your fingernails with a nail-brush or an orange stick
  6. Rinse your hands thoroughly under warm running water
  7. Thoroughly dry your hands and wrists 
  1. Clean your household thoroughly
  • Avoid any household clutter
  • Thoroughly ventilate your home with fresh air
  • Clean kitchen counters with a scouring powder
  • Dust and vacuum at least weekly
  • Mop the kitchen and bathroom floors at least weekly and anytime spills occur
  • Clean inside the refrigerator with soap and water weekly 
  • Add a teaspoon of bleach to each quart of water used for flower vases
  • Wear gloves when cleaning any animal areas (i.e. birdcages, litter boxes, aquariums, etc.)
  1. Clean contaminated household and medical equipment thoroughly
  • Clean medical equipment as instructed by your interdisciplinary team
  • Clean soap dishes, denture cups, etc., weekly
  • Do not use the same sponges or cloths to clean the bathroom and kitchen
  • Do not pour mop water into the kitchen sink
  • Do not clean sponges or cloths in the kitchen sink
  • Disinfect mops and sponges weekly by soaking in one part bleach to nine parts water for 5 minutes
  1. Decrease your exposure to people with infectious diseases
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible
  • Avoid people who have been recently vaccinated
  • Do not share food or drink with others
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Precious Hospice partners with patients, families and caregivers to lovingly provide skilled care to the terminally ill. Our multi-disciplinary team is committed to patient pain and symptom management, and the emotional, spiritual and social support for patient and family.

Contact Us

(470) 878-5051
(404) 891-0173
105 Habersham Drive, Suite D
Fayetteville, GA 30214
808 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
5241 Fountain Drive, Suites A-B
Crown Point, IN 46307

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