As the demand for palliative care services to provide comfort and relief to dying patients has grown, hospice has provided its services worldwide. Hospice is a voluntary service program that was founded in the U.S. in the early 1970s. It was created to provide emotional and spiritual assistance to terminally ill patients and their families. While providing help with daily living activities, hospice also counsels individuals and families about life and death and prepares them for the pain and suffering they are likely to face. Some families opt for a complete end-of-life program, including hospice care, instead of enrolling in a respite care or palliative care program.
The goal of hospice is to offer the best quality health care to those who suffer from incurable diseases and who, because of that, cannot enjoy other types of medical care. A hospice nurse serves as a primary caregiver to the patient. Nurses are trained to administer both medications and palliative therapies and are available to administer in-home care and in-duty nursing care when needed.
Hospice care, which can be provided by anyone, is provided through specialized facilities. There is a wide range of locations where hospice can be found, including hospitals, private facilities and nursing homes. In many instances, patients who have been treated and admitted to a hospice unit have gone home to recover while continuing to receive hospice care through other family members or a hospice provider. Hospice provides an emotional support that allows patients to cope with the end of their lives. It can provide comfort during the final days and hours of a terminal illness or in-between visits from hospice staff.
Patients who are terminally ill or have limited physical abilities may not be able to perform most tasks at home. Hospice providers often provide mobility aids or other assistance that may help the patient to retain their independence or increase their ability to perform daily activities. Some providers may even provide simple assistance such as bathing the patient or feeding them on a regular basis.
The activities that hospice provides for their patients are geared to enhance the quality of life for those individuals. Family members are encouraged to participate in these services in order to help their loved one cope with the end of his or her life. Many times, providers will prepare a list of activities that can be done by the patient and family in order to help patients feel as if they are still in control and managing everyday activities. Caregivers may include close friends or spiritual advisers.
Hospice also offers its patients the option of purchasing durable medical equipment and supplies through funding programs. These programs are designed to provide the maximum amount of resources to the hospice provider when it comes to providing hospice care to its patients. If a patient has a costly medical condition or disease, hospice can often times provide financing options for these items. This can often make having such items less of a financial burden for the patient and his or her caregivers. The goal is to help those patients that cannot afford traditional medical procedures feel like they have choices and that they are making a valuable contribution to the medical industry by choosing to work with hospice.
Hospice also works closely with various support groups. The goal of this service is to assist in the patient’s transition from current living to hospice. Staff often organize complimentary activities that can be offered to patients and their families, as well as work with local community groups to plan events that honor the patient and his or her life. These events include fundraisers, cookouts, concerts, lectures, and conferences. Several times, these activities are planned just for those who need hospice care, as well as those who are able to offer their support in the planning of the event.
How does hospice work with its patients is an important concept to understand. Though this is a service that is often provided by other healthcare agencies, hospice has its own set of beliefs and principles that allow it to focus its programs on those who are in need and who cannot afford medical care any longer. With the help of a trained and compassionate team, hospice is able to help those who have fallen ill and are no longer capable of caring for themselves.