Dr. Gloth answers more questions about Hospice Care and Death

March 10, 2023, Caregiving, Hospice

Dr. Gloth answers more questions about Hospice Care and Death

We recently published a blog answering questions about hospice care and death. Gilchrist’s chief medical officer, Dr. Mark J. Gloth is back to help the public better understand what hospice care entails, what the dying process is like, and other related issues.

If you start hospice, doesn’t that mean you are giving up?

Hospice does not mean you are giving up on life. In fact, some people may actually live longer when their care is focused on treating symptoms to maximize comfort rather than spending their days pursuing invasive and sometimes risky medical interventions.

In hospice, we want you to live every moment as well as you can for as long as you can. A person who chooses hospice care is choosing to honor one of life’s most precious journeys. Dying is the final chapter of life. We all must go through it. People who choose hospice get to write that chapter on their own terms. We help people live every moment, even when those moments become fewer.

What about medical care and hospital visits? Do you give all that up when receiving hospice care?

Hospice does not take away your access to doctor visits, appropriate medical and therapeutic treatments, or emergency care. If you feel a medical procedure or hospital admission may still be necessary, one of our team members will walk you through the process to best move forward. Additionally, you can continue to see your own doctors while receiving hospice services. That being said, many hospice patients will choose to receive their care at home with a Gilchrist medical provider rather than return to their primary provider’s office. For those patients who elect a Gilchrist medical provider, the Gilchrist care team will work in partnership with your physician.

Please know that if at any time you decide you want to pursue more aggressive interventions, you can always change your mind and unenroll from hospice.

What if someone doesn’t have familial or emotional support?

Our hospice teams have many built-in supports for people who are in need. Social workers can work with patients to help with financial concerns and legal issues, as well as provide counseling. Our team of chaplains and rabbis can provide social and emotional support regardless of your religious or spiritual background. And volunteers are also to spend time with people who have limited family and friends. We have a remarkable group of volunteers, many of whom have experienced the support from hospice in their own lives.

What will dying be like? How will patients and families know that the end is near?

While you can’t know exactly what the dying process will be like, for most people in hospice it is very peaceful and comfortable – both for the patient and the family. Natural dying looks nothing like what it is portrayed in the movies. Most people will show those telltale signs of dying, which the hospice team is likely to identify, giving loved ones the time to prepare.

The hospice team will do their best to make sure caregivers have all the medications and equipment they need to ensure a peaceful, dignified death. Social workers and chaplains will be at the ready to provide the patient and the family with physical, mental, social, and spiritual support.

What should you do if you’re considering hospice care?

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one may benefit from hospice, you should talk to your health care provider.

If you or a loved one would like to be evaluated by a Gilchrist nurse, simply call our Care Navigators at 1-888-823-8880 or complete our easy one referral form by going here.

Dr. Mark J. Gloth, Gilchrist’s chief medical officer, has more than 25 years of leadership experience as a physician executive. Before joining Gilchrist, served as Chief Medical Officer of ProMedica Senior Care, where he provided national medical leadership and medical practice management for the companies skilled nursing, hospice, palliative care, home care and assisted-living operations.

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