What is Hospice?
Hospice provides palliative (comfort) care to individuals whose illness is not curable. Palliative care focuses on making the person as comfortable as possible by managing the symptoms of the disease. The goal is to maximize the person's quality of life.
Hospice provides supportive services (physical, social, spiritual and emotional) to patients, their families and significant others through a team approach. Members of the hospice team make periodic home visits. On call support is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for phone consultations or emergency visits. Services can be provided in the home, nursing home/long term care or assisted living facility. When symptoms cannot be controlled elsewhere, services may be provided within a hospital.
For services to be provided in the home:The patient must be able to care for him/herself on a 24 hour basis.
There must be a family member or friend available to provide the 24 hour care.
While family and friends deliver most of the care, hospice provides volunteers to assist with errands and to provide brief time away for primary care givers.
For patients without a care giver, Hospice makes every possible effort to develop a care plan that includes friends, neighbors or someone to assume the care giver role on a regular basis.