Great medicine often isn’t medicine at all. In hospice, medication or clinical therapies are commonly used to relieve symptoms. However, comprehensive approaches are widely used to enhance the quality of life of patients and to strengthen patient-centered treatment.
Through pet visits, aromatherapy, massage, and even love and laughter, Nevada Hospice Care offers certain advanced services to enhance the hospice experience for our patients.
Such services help promote:
- Relaxation and peace of mind
- Management of pain, nausea, and discomfort
- Release of anxiety, fear, and grief brought on by pain and end-of-life realizations
- Positive emotional closure with loved ones and one’s self.
Aromatherapy & Essential Oils
Smells have a potent effect on our brains. By boosting certain types of fragrances, these smells can cause substantial changes in our physical and mental states. Some of these physiological changes in muscle tension, blood pressure, blood circulation, mental stimulation, and many other changes have a positive effect on our bodies.
Aromatherapy for therapeutic use by severely ill patients has helped improve their emotional, physical, and spiritual health and wellness in studies. Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils; these potent liquids obtained from plants influence the limbic system of the brain and its emotional structures. Essential oils have also been proven to have an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects when inhaled.
In a hospice care setting, aromatherapy can:
- Help manage pain, nausea, and discomfort
- Create an atmosphere of calm, comfort, and a peaceful serenity
- Reduce stress, anxiety, and agitation
Essential oils can be mixed into creams, lotions, and combined with other oils to be used to relax the mind, body, hands, feet, and restless legs. They may be applied to beds, in baths, inside of diffusers, added to a patient’s pillow, or soaked on a cotton ball for direct inhalation. These powerful smells have many advantages depending upon the oil used. Our staff is educated on specific oils and their theroputic properties.
In comparison with traditional massage, our hospice and palliative care massage utilize gentle, soothing movements to calm the muscles and soothe the mind. Massages are a popular way of leveraging our emotional bond with a patient. The autonomic nervous system can be stimulated by a hospice and palliative care massage. These massages will help replace feelings of fear, distress, and discomfort for patients with a sense of calm and good health.
The advantages for our patients include:
- Helping alleviate pain by reducing swelling and the discomfort associated with it
- Increased blood flow allowing the muscles to relax and restoring warmth to cold extremities
- Easing of stiff muscles to make movement more accessible and comfortable
Music therapists derive from a vast array of musical backgrounds and intervention activities. For instance, a therapist and patient may compose a song together. Music therapy might help a patient express bound up feelings or emotions, not otherwise expressed through conversations. Or a therapist might teach a patient to play the piano helping the patient regain some of their motor skills.
Music therapy provides the following benefits to patients:
- Increased dopamine levels helping to reduce pain and symptoms with a feeling of wellbeing
- Increased social interactions between caregiver and patients resulting in sensory stimulation
- Assisting patients to cope, define or articulate feelings or thoughts and emotions
- Releasing feelings of anxiousness that often associated with dementia and Alzheimers
- Help face communication problems due to a physical or intellectual impairment
- Music often brings back thought process or feelings of historical times when a patient felt whole and healthy, resulting in a euphoric state of wellbeing enhancing quality of life and a time of dignity
Frequently Asked Questions
Nо, the patient does not. A patient sуmрtоmѕ, family іntеrеѕt, аnd rеѕроnѕе tо music therapy assessment will determine whether muѕіс therapy іѕ аррrорrіаtе or not.
Nо. Music can trіggеr mеаnіngful еmоtіоnѕ and mеmоrіеѕ for dіѕоrіеntеd раtіеntѕ, thereby improving соmmunісаtіоn, mооd, and quаlіty оf life.
Yes, hearing іѕ thоught to be the lаѕt асtіvе ѕеnѕе to lарѕе bеfоrе dеаth. Muѕіс therapy may bе еntіrеlу appropriate and perfect fоr unrеѕроnѕіvе раtіеntѕ.
Depends, at times privacy may bе necessary but gеnеrаllу, fаmіlу participation іѕ асtіvеlу encouraged tо еnhаnсе the connection bеtwееn lоvеd оnеѕ and patients.
Unfortunately no, whіlе beneficial for mаnу раtіеntѕ, music саn іnсrеаѕе аgіtаtіоn and аnxіеtу іn others. Each patient’s needs will be assessed by their therapist. Not еvеrу раtіеnt аnd family will be interested in music thеrару. Muѕіс therapists are trаіnеd іn аѕѕеѕsing the patients needs аnd wіll never соntіnuе trеаtmеnt іf a раtіеnt displays a negative or hаrmful response to music therapy.
Nevada Hospice Care partners with several paw pal volunteers to provide support and care for patients through difficult times. Often animals do what humans cannot do, and a four-legged friend’s dedication and love are sometimes just what the doctor ordered.
Most facilities allow for pets to visit an animal-loving patient with their care owners. These paw pals are trained to have a special kind of loving demeanor to offer a friendship type of comfort.
Volunteers from our paw pals support patients in nursing homes, community-assisted living, and private residences. Hospice pet visits provide a pleasant comfort from their sickness and help people feel a little less depressed. These paw pals leave their patients smiling, more relaxed, and a little bit better off in general as love can go a long way.
Further focus and widespread acceptance have been given to these therapeutic pets as they continue to bring many tangible benefits to all whom they come into contact with.
The advantages of pet visits include:
- Bringing bасk joyful memories
- Providing a type of cоmfоrt саrе only a pet can give
- Giving unсоndіtіоnаl lоvе to a patient
- Enсоurаgіng асtіvіtу and movement for patients
Healthcare professionals agree that hospice patients become considerably more responsive both during and after animal visits.
Miracle Berry Therapy:
During the end of life situations, eating may be unenjoyable and even hard at times. This is why we have sought out The Miracle Berry. We at Nevada Hospice Care believe this small berry can bring enjoyment back to those who suffer the most.
Miracle fruit contains the glycoprotein miraculin, which binds to the sweet receptor cells on tastebuds, making acidic, sour, or bitter foods taste sweet.
Anything you eat for the next hour or so, whether it be a lemon, lime, or tomato or something a bit acidic, tastes sweet.
We began giving the tropical fruit to friends and family to try, including one friend who was going through chemotherapy treatment for leukemia.
“He was just eating ice out of the refrigerator because he couldn’t cope with the metallic taste he was getting,” Mr.Farminalli said.”His wife videotaped him when he had the first berry, and his comment was, ‘this is amazing,’ and from there he started going to restaurants every night. “His quality of life improved.”
It was at this point Mr. Farminalli realized how vital this small little berry could be to his patients. Quality of life is given back to individuals with the pure enjoyment of having a meal together.
The fruit is harvested in summer months and, once picked, the miraculin protein only remains active for around 48 hours, unless the berries are frozen or freeze-dried.
The experience prompted the couple to plant more bushes and send berries to other cancer patients in their community.
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