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What You Need to Know about Hospice Care By Dr. Christine Estrada

When an individual with a life-limiting illness has exhausted all aggressive treatment options, or these options are determined to be more harmful than beneficial, these individuals and their families can choose to optimize comfort with hospice services. How do we know that hospice is the right choice? The factors to consider are: the patient's prognosis with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness, burdensome symptoms caused by the illness, the risk-to-benefit ratio of the current and alternative treatment plans, goals of care, caregiver needs and the desire for specialized care focused on comfort and happiness. The purpose of hospice care is to relieve suffering, restore dignity and enhance quality of life. Hospices often care for the patient-family unit. Families of terminally ill patients often undergo emotional journeys, and they are in great need of education, understanding and support.

One major fear about hospice care is the myth that it will shorten life expectancy because of the notion that everyone has "given up" on the patient. The truth is that hospice does not directly lengthen or shorten the patient's life; it helps to make the patient's final days more comfortable. Hospice services support the patient and family as the natural progression of a fatal condition continues. Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care's (LVSHC) interdisciplinary team approach helps address many patient needs including physical, emotional, social needs. The patient and family are counseled and supported by social services. Whatever moments the patient may have - whether it be many moments or less moments than hoped for - hospice care helps make these moments the best moments possible.

When given a poor prognosis with a limited life expectancy, patients may feel as though they have lost control of their health and possible outcomes. With quality of life care, the patient regains control of how to shape their journey before them. LVSHC makes every effort to help bring out happiness in a person's life, whether this involves providing a listening ear or offering their favorite comfort food. We like to help bring the patient back to his/her mental state prior to becoming ill.

LVSHC is proud to be a part of the hospice community of the greater Las Vegas area. We are able to manage the most complex and persistent symptoms, from uncontrolled pain to severe terminal restlessness. As well as standard pharmacologic interventions, we offer non-pharmacological approaches and complementary and alternative remedies, including homeopathy, aromatherapy and acupressure. We also provide specialized services, such as palliative sedation, palliative vent release and therapeutic paracentesis in any setting. Quality and educational initiatives drive our mission at LVSHC, as we train to the level of board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. Our clinical team has complex symptom management algorithms that facilitate critical thinking and troubleshooting approaches to address uncontrolled symptoms. Most importantly, we at LVSHC care for our patients in the same way we would want our own loved ones cared for. Our care is personalized, tailored to the needs and desires of the patient and family, and highly motivated by compassion and understanding. Together, our team can show patients and families a better way.

For more information about Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care, call 702-870-0000 or visit our website at http://www.lvsolarihospice.com.



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