A: One of the biggest fears shared by Americans is the fear of dying in pain. The goal of hospice care is to minimize pain and suffering and help patients live the last months of life as fully as possible. Experienced hospice providers such as HCI Hospice Care Services are experts in pain management and in addressing its many causes.
Pain affects physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual well-being and can be compounded by other problems you and your loved one are experiencing. Pain is also a very personal experience. Only your loved one can define what pain is to him or her. Only he or she can accurately describe the amount of pain and how well it is being relieved.
Sometimes, people are reluctant to talk about their pain. They might feel that they are not supposed to have pain, that pain is a sign of weakness, that nothing can be done or that they shouldn’t talk or complain about the pain. The hospice care team uses a variety of pain scales and communication techniques to measure and monitor a patient’s pain level and determine how to best help patients meet their comfort goals.Pain treatment options can include both medicinal and non-medicinal treatments and may be addressed through a single medication, a non-medicinal therapy or a combination of the two.
Information provided by Abi Albrecht, LMSW, team director, HCI Hospice Care Services of Central Iowa, 402 12th St., Perry, (515) 465-4705, www.hcicareservices.org.