Hospice care is a special kind of care that focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness. Hospice care is provided when there is no active or curative treatment being given for the serious illness. Treatment during hospice care involves managing symptoms and side effects. The main goal of hospice is to provide compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. This means that discomfort, pain, nausea, and other side effects are managed to make sure that they feel god as possible, yet are alert enough to enjoy the people around them and make important decisions.
Hospice care brings together a team of people with special skills – among the nurses, doctors, social workers, spiritual advisors, and trained volunteers. Everyone works together with the person who is in hospice care, the caregiver, and/or family to provide the medical, emotional, and spiritual support needed.
These hospice services include:
- Doctor visits
- Nursing visits to address physical symptoms
- Visits from hospice aide to provide personal care including bathing, feeding, and grooming
- Social work visits to assist with coordinating resources from the community and within the family
- Visits from the chaplain to provide spiritual comfort
- Volunteers to provide additional companionship
- Bereavement support for the family after their loved one has passed away
In addition, hospice provides – at no cost to the patient – any medication, supplies, and medical equipment (such as hospital bed, oxygen, wheelchair) related to their hospice diagnosis.