Hospice & Palliative Care Basics

Hospice care is compassionate care that enhances and improves the quality of life for individuals and their caregivers who are experiencing a life-limiting illness. Hospice does not mean giving up hope. In fact, hospice is just the opposite.  Our team of professionals guide you and your family working together to provide emotional and spiritual support while also assisting to control your pain and manage symptoms. A study by the New England Journal of medicine showed that patients who received hospice services lived almost two months longer on average than those who did not.  Hospice Care also provides necessary medications, medical supplies, and equipment to make life more comfortable.

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 provides compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.

The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life: it affirms life, but does not try to hasten or postpone death. Hospice care treats the person and symptoms of the disease, rather than treating the disease itself. A team of professionals work together to manage symptoms so that a person’s last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice care is also family-centered – it includes the patient and the family in making decisions.

Terminally ill individuals often experience pain as they approach the end of life. One of the most well-known goals of hospice care is to enhance a dying person’s quality of life by alleviating as much of this pain as possible. The sooner a senior receives a hospice referral, the sooner they are able to get relief from pain and other physical symptoms in lieu of curative treatment.

But hospice care encompasses far more than symptom management. Multidisciplinary hospice care teams consist of multiple professionals, including physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, psychologists, volunteers, musicians, therapists and spiritual counselors. This team works together to help patients and their families cope with the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of dying.

This holistic care approach and focus on maintaining quality of life can make it possible for a senior to have more pain-free time to spend with their loved ones. Furthermore, hospice care can reduce the likelihood that a patient will spend their final months in and out of the hospital—a common scenario that proves to be very stressful, upsetting and expensive to patients and families alike.