Hospice care is an exceptional kind of care focusing on the quality of life for terminally ill patients and their caregivers. Hospice care provides compassionate care for people in the final stages of incurable diseases to allow them to live as fully and comfortably as possible.
At a glance, hospice offers:
- Medical care to help people with terminal illnesses live as well as possible for as long as possible with a focus on improved quality of life.
- An interdisciplinary team of medical professionals who address physical, psychological, and spiritual care for the patient as well as their loved ones.
- Care that addresses symptom management, communication, decision making, coordination of care, and quality of life.
When is it time for hospice?
Although each person is different and should be assessed by a hospice doctor, it is generally time for hospice when:
- The patient has been given six months or fewer to live.
- The patient’s state is rapidly declining despite treatment.
- The patient is ready to live more comfortably and forego treatments that are aimed at prolonging their life.
Hospice services include:
- Visits to the patient’s location by a physician, nurse, home health aide, and chaplain.
- Medication for symptoms and pain relief.
- Medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, and other medical supplies like catheters and bandages.
- Physical and occupational therapy.
- Speech language and pathology.
- Dietary counseling.
- Other Medicare-covered services that are intended to manage pain and other symptoms related to the patient’s terminal illness.
- Short-term inpatient care as needed.
- Short-term respite care to provide temporary relief to the patient’s caregiver.
- Grief and loss counseling for the patient and their loved ones.
As hospice is focused on comfort and care, the services most commonly take place where the patient calls home — whether their house or the house of a loved one. Hospice can also take place at an assisted living facility, nursing home, or hospital. Hospice is focused on the patient and improving their quality of life. Therefore there is no one-size-fits-all model of care for hospice. If you’d like to learn more about which hospice options may be best for you or your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.