What is hospice?
Hospice is not just for end of life care. It is a holistic approach which includes caregiver support, spiritual care, bereavement, and much more. Many people still think hospice is just for cancer patients. In the early days of hospice, most patients had cancer, but as hospice care has grown, more patients with non-cancer life threatening conditions are being cared for. These conditions include heart, lung, liver, kidney, brain, and motor neuron diseases, as well as advanced dementia. International research shows that about 70% of all people who die would benefit from access to hospice services.
Who provides these services?
Hospice care is a family-centered team approach that includes a doctor, nurse, social worker, counselor, chaplain, home health aide and trained volunteers. They work together focusing on the dying person’s needs—physical, psychological, social and spiritual. The goal is to help keep the person as pain and symptom-free as possible while offering spiritual and compassionate counseling to the patient and family members.
Where is hospice care offered?
Hospice care is provided wherever the patient calls home. Home may be a long term care facility, skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility or private residence.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with life limiting illnesses / chronic conditions It focuses on providing patients with relief of the pain and stress of an illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and family.
Who Provides Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a team approach to care. The core team includes a doctor, nurse and social work palliative care specialist. A massage therapist, pharmacist, nutritionists, chaplains and others may be a part of the team. The team spends as much time as necessary with you and your family.
They become a partner with you, your family and your other doctors. They support you and your family every step of the way, not only by controlling your symptoms, but also by helping you to understand your treatment options and goals.
”You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life.
We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”
— Dame Cicely Saunders, nurse, physician and writer,
and founder of hospice movement (1918 – 2005)