Hospice is based on the belief that through sensitive, appropriate care and the support of a caring community, terminally ill patients and their families can begin to prepare to face the inevitable challenges ahead. Centuries ago, a hospice was a shelter for travelers. Over the years, it evolved into a refuge where people could find care, comfort and support during difficult times in their journey through life.
- The Hospice Philosophy – Hospice is not a place; it’s a concept about the quality of life as it nears its end for the patients and their families and friends.
- Hospice believes death to be a natural part of the cycle of life.
- Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death.
- Hospice supports those who desire to face end-of-life with dignity and as much control as possible.
- Hospice aggressively manages pain and symptoms.
- Hospice is holistic and recognizes that pain and suffering may be physical, emotional, spiritual, or social.
- Hospice supports those who wish to live as fully and as comfortable as possible.
- Hospice provides palliative care to terminally ill patients, as well as supportive services to patients, their families, and significant others, 24 hours a day in both home and inpatient settings.
- Medical supplies, such as bandages or catheters
- Medications for pain and symptom management of the terminal diagnosis
- Equipment such as wheelchairs, bedside commodes, hospital beds, walkers, etc.
- Services from an interdisciplinary team specializing in end-of-life care
- Physician services related to the terminal illness
- Regular home care visits by a nurse
- Visits by a certified nursing assistant for such services as dressing and bathing
- Chaplain services for the patient and the family, if desired
- Social work and counseling services
- Bereavement counseling
Levels of Hospice Care
- Routine Care – provides intermittent hospice care wherever the patient calls home (personal residence, residence of a friend or family member, nursing facility, assisted living facility, etc.).
- Respite Care – provides assistance that allows time for the patient’s caregiver to rest.
- Crisis Care – provides short-term crisis management of pain or symptoms in the patient’s home (personal residence, residence of a friend or family member, nursing facility, assisted living facility, etc.).
- General Inpatient Care – provides short-term crisis management of pain or symptoms in a hospital, nursing facility or inpatient unit during the hospice stay.