Hospice is more than a program or building. It is a unique philosophy of health care for patients with a life-limiting illness who are have been told they have six months or less to live and focuses on enhancing the quality of a patient’s life while also providing support to the caregiving family. Hospice ensures patients and their loved ones that the dying process will be pain-free and dignified.
Potentially life-prolonging intervention can be provided to patients based on the patient’s wishes and as part of a comprehensive care plan.
The core concepts of hospice are:
- pain management and symptom control
- physical, emotional, social and spiritual support for the patient and family
- acceptance of death as a natural part of the life cycle
The goals of hospice are:
- to keep the patient comfortable as the illness progresses by relieving symptoms, neither hastening death nor prolonging life but allowing the disease to take its natural course
- to enhance the end of life by providing compassionate care that allows patients to maintain a sense of dignity and to live their final days to the fullest, in peace and without pain, in a loving environment.
Need more information about hospice care? Read our frequently asked questions.