WHAT IS HOSPICE CARE

Hospice is more than a program or building. It is a unique philosophy of health care for patients with a life-limiting illness. Hospice focuses on enhancing the quality of a patient’s life while also providing support to caregivers and family members and ensures patients and their loved ones that the dying process will be pain-free and dignified.

All hospice patients must be certified by a physician as having six months or less to live. Most of the focus of care is on ensuring patient comfort and assisting patients in achieving their last life goals, as much as they are able. Most advanced medical interventions have been discontinued by the time patients enroll in hospice; however, potentially life-prolonging interventions may be maintained based on the patient’s wishes, and as set out in a comprehensive care plan.

THE CORE CONCEPTS OF HOSPICE ARE:

  • pain management and symptom control
  • physical, emotional, social and spiritual support for the patient and family
  • acceptance of death as a natural part of the life cycle

THE GOALS OF HOSPICE ARE:

  • to keep the patient comfortable as the illness progresses by relieving symptoms
  • to neither hasten death nor prolong life, but instead to allow the disease to take its natural course
  • to enhance the end of life by providing compassionate care that allows patients to maintain a sense of dignity and to live their final days to the fullest, in peace and without pain, in the place that provides the most solace.

caregivers, families and physicians

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