AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT.
Good physical pain control is an important element of Hospice care. We will work as a team toward comprehensive management of pain and other symptoms to maintain your loved one's maximum comfort.
We rely on your loved one to communicate their pain or discomfort as clearly as possible to the Hospice Nurse. Most pain, if reported honestly, can be controlled. The Hospice Nurse will ask about the location, duration, onset, and severity of the pain. The intensity of your loved one's pain is typically described on a scale ranging from zero to ten. A rating of zero means no pain, one to four is a range of mild pain, five to six is moderate pain, and seven to ten describes severe pain.
The Hospice Medical Director is a specialist in pain management. The Hospice Nurse will always keep the doctor informed of your loved one's pain, symptoms and changing condition. Together they will work to keep your loved one as comfortable as possible to enhance their quality of life.
In many instances, a non-prescription medication is used effectively for mild pain. Common medicine's, or brand names include Tylenol, Advil, and Motrin.
Hospice patient's frequently use prescription pain medication for moderate to severe pain. It is most effective and can be taken in many forms and in varying amounts. Your Hospice Nurse will always instruct you in the proper use and respond to your questions or concerns.
Keep in mind to allow several days for your loved one's body to adjust to the new medication and for the Doctor and Nurse to determine the best schedule of doses and amount of medication needed. It's extremely important to follow the medication schedule developed for your loved one; if doses are skipped maximum comfort cannot be maintained.
Medications taken by your loved one are for symptom control. Your loved one's comfort is always of great concern and importance, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual.
Most medications are in pill form and need to be taken with water or another liquid, such as juice, milk or pop. Your loved one should have enough liquid to swallow the pill completely. A few sips of the liquid before putting the pills into the mouth frequently prevents pills from "sticking."
A Hospice Nurse will work with your loved one to appropriately administer medications.