Hospice Care

What Makes Hospice Special?

So many things about end of life care are difficult to contemplate. This is of course very normal for anyone, to not want to think about it, but at times it does become important to understand what the process of hospice is and what makes it a special part of the care process.

Once someone has been placed on hospice there are things that will change. Hospice care is generally prescribed when a patient has been given a short time to live and they will no longer be receiving any medications that are meant to cure the disease or getting new diagnoses. This does not mean that there is no more treatments. Hospice providers can help with pain control, from medication to meditation and everything in between. They can help with day-to-day tasks to help patients achieve a higher level of physical and mental comfort. They can help with remembering to take pills or even just to get enough fluids. This are just a few examples of treatments, though they are meant to manage and help control pain and not to cure the underlying illness.

Hospice care is designed to help the patients stay in the home. To be active and to enjoy the days that they have left. Hospice patients may take up new hobbies, or restart old ones. They may spend time with children and grandchildren, spouses, or even pets. Hospice care helps them to be comfortable enough to engage in the things they want to do with as little pain or problems as possible.

Another key factor of hospice care is that it treats the family and the patient as one. Having a family member facing a terminal illness puts a huge amount of strain on any family, and hospice works to keep the patient and the family pulling in the same direction throughout the process. Hospice workers may sometimes be available to simply provide relief to caregivers who are struggling to get through these trying times as well.

The main factor that makes hospice special, though, is the fact that the care takes place at home. The patient is able to stay at home, be surrounded by friends and family, and do the things that make them feel good. Hospice care is tailored to the needs of each family, and the hospice staff and volunteers will do whatever they can to ease the pain in this incredibly difficult transitional phase of life.

If you are still searching for facts on hospice care, here are a few great resources that we recommend:

American Cancer Society

WebMD

Crossroads Hospice