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How hospice services deal with domestic violence

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2023 | Health Law Attorneys, Healthcare Business

For thousands of Texas residents each year, hospice services represent a crucial form of care at the last stage of life. This is frequently a traumatic and difficult time under the best of circumstances, but past traumas can often add to the stress and difficulty.

Among those receiving hospice care, past histories of domestic violence are all too common. And these experiences tend to have reverberations and aftereffects that can impact hospice services. Having a comprehensive understanding of hospice law, along with a grasp of how domestic violence can affect patients, is of critical importance.

Histories of domestic violence

Hospice patients, mirroring the general public, have a high incidence of past domestic violence in their life. The most frequent forms of domestic violence in these cases are physical, mental/emotional and sexual violence.

For older patients, other forms of abuse like neglect, forced confinement or financial exploitation are also common. Some of these domestic violence traumas may have happened years or decades in the past, while others may be recent or even ongoing. And in all cases, the scars will be present during hospice care.

The impact of domestic violence trauma

The period in which a patient receives hospice services is typically one of the most difficult of a patient’s life. Approaching death is generally frightening, and illness often weakens and demoralizes a patient.

During that time, emotions may become more frayed or naked, and previously suppressed feelings may surface. A patient suffering from an emotional toll due to past domestic abuse may lash out or withdraw completely, sometimes with very little warning or clear motive.

For caregivers, it’s crucial to be aware of this possibility and to adjust your behavior to accommodate your patients. Having an understanding of these potential triggers can allow you to work through these issues with sensitivity.

The population of hospice services patients is filled with domestic abuse sufferers. This history of domestic abuse can pose challenges in giving hospice care, and awareness of this issue can aid in working around it.