What Is Hospice Care ?
Hospice care refers to the medical care, and emotional and spiritual support that is offered to a person who has terminal illness and is not expected to live more than 6 months. In addition, the care also helps the family members of the patient to come to terms with the situation, so that they are better equipped to handle the loss of their loved one.
When a patient cannot be cured and is going to die, hospice care is given to the person. The aim of the care is to ensure that the patient feels comfortable and this helps to improve the patient’s quality of life. The health care professionals who offer hospice care do not focus on curing the disease. At the same time, the care does not do anything to hasten the dying process. Instead, health care professionals try to relieve pain and other symptoms that the patient experiences. The patient is kept alert while ensuring that he or she is comfortable.
The care is provided 24 hours and seven days a week. It can be given in the patient’s house or in a hospice. Usually, patients prefer to receive hospice care in their homes as they feel more comfortable and also can spend their days among people who they love and care for.
When a person is told that they have a terminal illness, it is very difficult time for the person as well as the family. Through hospice care, the patient and family are provided comfort. The health care professionals are trained to offer emotional, spiritual and physical support to the patient and their family. It allows the patient to keep their dignity and die without too much suffering.
St. Christopher Hospice was the first hospice to be set up in the world in the year 1967. This hospice was located in the UK. Thereafter, more hospices were set up across the world and today the US offers hospice care to thousands of dying patients. The cost of hospice care is borne by Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance policies. There are also guidelines in place to ensure that dying patients and their families get quality care and support. There are laws in place to ensure that dignity of the dying is respected.
However, hospice care does not end with the death of the patient. It also offers support to the family after the patient passes away. This is meant to ease the pain of losing a loved one and also cope better with the death.
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LiveStrong: What Is Hospice Care?
WebMD: Hospice Care