What is Hospice?
Hospice is a concept of care. The goal of hospice care is to provide palliative (comfort) care and symptom management to patients with an end of life illness, a terminal illness, or when curative treatment is not an option. Hospice care also takes a holistic approach which focuses on the patient and the immediate family’s spiritual and psychosocial needs and beliefs. Hospice care allows the patient to receive care in their home, surrounded by their family and loved ones. Hospice care can also be given in a home-like setting such as a nursing facility or assisted living facility.
When should the decision about entering hospice be made?
The decision to enter into hospice care can be a difficult one for patients and their families. The time for someone to begin thinking about hospice for themselves or their family member is when:
- Their physician recommends hospice.
- Curative treatment is no longer an option.
- The patient has been diagnosed with a terminal or life limiting illness and chooses to not pursue treatment.