What Is Hospice Care?

If you have never seen hospice care in action, you may ask, What is hospice?

The Hospice Philosophy

The hospice philosophy recognizes that every person deserves to live out his or her life with respect and dignity, alert and free of pain, in an environment that promotes quality of life. The hospice concept of care only came to the U.S. in the early 1970s, when the vast majority of terminally ill people were dying in hospitals, often alone and in pain. Hospice providers work with patients and their families to help provide spiritual support, compassionate care, pain and symptom management, and spiritual and bereavement care.

The TEAM Approach

teamapproachHospice care is provided by a collaborative team of professionals trained in this type of care.  Care focuses on the unique educational and support opportunities of each family, individually tailored symptom management strategies, the unque spiritual needs of the patient and family, and what type of care may be most helpful to the family in the future. Your hospice team will assess patient and family needs in terms of:

  • what would help educate and support the patient and family as they move forward
  • what the nurses can do to provide pain and symptom management
  • how to keep the patient comfortable
  • who can visit to provide relief for the family and ensure that the patient is not alone
  • what spiritual needs the patient/family would like addressed
  • what the family will need for bereavement support the year following the death of the patient