According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is a major cause of disability in the United States. There are many types of heart disease including congestive heart failure (CHF) and coronary artery disease which affects more than 13 million Americans. Those living with end-stage CHF and terminal heart disease often make frequent doctor’s office, emergency room and hospital visits for breathing difficulties and fatigue. More than one million people in the United States are admitted to inpatient settings for heart failure each year. Many of these hospital visits could be prevented with the support of hospice care.
People with end-stage heart disease may experience frequent episodes of:
Shortness of breath
Repeated hospitalizations or trips to the ER.
These patients may also have advanced CHF or other advanced coronary disease (chronic ischemic heart disease, left-sided heart failure, previous myocardial infarction) and experience:
Poor response to diuretics (sometimes called water pills) and vasodilators (medicines that dilate, or open, blood vessels, which allows blood to flow more easily).
Abnormal heart rate.
Decreasing alertness – patient is emotionally withdrawn, sleeping more or having increased difficulty with comprehension.
When is it time to contact Capital Caring?
While there is no cure for end-stage CHF, the added specialized care and support of hospice care can improve the quality of life for cardiac patients, as well as their families and caregivers. If your loved one has tried all treatment options or made the personal decision to not pursue further specialized heart treatment, it may be time to talk about hospice care for heart disease.
Benefits of Hospice and Palliative Care at Capital Caring
Our team works alongside those living with heart disease and their family to address physical and emotional symptoms and provide spiritual support. The care team also provides education and training to families on administering medication and using medical equipment. The goal of hospice care for heart disease patients is to treat pain and other symptoms and relieve the physical and emotional stress to help ensure the greatest level of comfort for our patients and their families.
Pain Management – Our Hospice Care team provides care which focuses on relieving pain and maintaining comfort.
Symptom Control – Our Hospice Care team regularly assesses each patient’s condition and works with the physician to determine the most effective treatment and medication options to maximize symptom control.
Hospice Care at Home – The goal of hospice care is to support patients by meeting their needs and managing their care at home – or wherever they may call home. This means hospice services are provided in a patient’s home, a nursing home, or the home of a loved one. Allowing one to stay at their home gives them the ultimate comfort when addressing terminal illnesses.
Coordinated Care Approach – Hospice care is a team effort. The patient’s family and loved ones are actively involved along with a team of professionals and volunteers. With the help and support of the hospice care team, the patient and their family receive physical, emotional, and spiritual support.
Holistic Approach – Therapy and counseling services add an extra layer of care to the hospice services provided by Capital Caring. Therapy and counseling are non-invasive, holistic practices which help to enhance the medical, social and spiritual care of the hospice team. Therapy and counseling sessions are provided by staff and volunteers of the Capital Caring hospice team.
Visit capitalcaring.org or call 800-869-2136 for more information or to make a referral.
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