What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is a type of specialized care for someone who is suffering from a terminal illness, usually with a life expectancy under six months. The care focuses on improving the patient’s quality of life during their remaining time, on reducing their pain and making them as comfortable as possible, without attempting to cure the disease. It usually includes emotional and spiritual support as well, in addition to attending to the physical needs of the patient.
Hospice services can be provided in the terminally ill person’s home or in a residential hospice facility, hospital, nursing home or other long-term care facility.
Hospice care in the home can be provided for the duration of the person’s life or only during those times when the patient has a crisis and needs more care than their family member or other caregiver can provide.
Hospice care provided in a residential facility can be provided when the patient’s symptoms can no longer be controlled at home, or can be used for respite care, when the regular caregiver needs a break or can’t cope with the situation.