Hospice is a unique form of medical care that primarily centers on comfort and quality of life for patients and families experiencing the end stages of terminal illness. There are several approaches to care available for those with a terminal illness that you may have heard of, including ‘comfort care’ and ‘palliative care’, that each have benefits and potential drawbacks.
To truly understand what makes hospice care unique, and why it’s often chosen when a patient nears the end of life, it’s important to define what ‘comfort’ means in the context of hospice services:
1. Promote Quality of Life
A significant benefit that sets hospice care apart is that its main goal is helping patients and loved ones remain comfortable and enjoy time together to the best extent possible. This includes caring for the patient’s physical well-being, as well as the emotional and spiritual well-being of the entire family.
Hospice is about living and celebrating the gift of every day.
2. Pain and Symptom Management, Not Treatment
Unlike some other care approaches, the patient’s medical needs are still being met to help alleviate disease-related pain and/or symptoms, but care does not include any curative treatment. This makes hospice care a good choice for patients who do not wish to pursue treatment (or treatment is not possible) for a terminal disease.
Care is available 24/7 to ensure that patients’ and their family members’ time is more comfortable and peaceful.
3. Care Where Patients Feel at Home
Another meaningful aspect of hospice is where a patient can receive care, and that is wherever they call home. This is often in a private residence, but services can also occur in a long-term care setting, or if needed, a hospital.
This allows families to remain in the comfort of a familiar environment and limits disturbances to the patient caused by traveling to doctor’s offices or healthcare facilities – hospice comes to you, so you can focus on what matters most.
4. Grief and Bereavement Support
Every patient and family experiences the end-of-life journey in a unique way. Because it’s designed for those with a terminal prognosis of six months or less, hospice offers compassionate grief support to families as the patient and loved ones process their emotions. Chaplains and social workers are part of each family’s hospice care team to provide emotional and spiritual guidance throughout the patient’s care.
And hospice does not end when the patient passes; at Remarkable Hospice, we provide bereavement support for up to 13 months after death to his or her loved ones.
These areas are foundational to understanding what makes hospice special and how hospice care guides patients and loved ones through the journey of a terminal illness. Many families choose hospice because of these benefits – and more – that allow them to focus on peace, comfort, and quality of life.
Quality of life is the foundation of hospice and the vision we strive towards every day – to provide Remarkable care to the Remarkable people in our communities. If you are looking for compassionate, expert care for someone in your life, we are here to help.