Hospice care is end-of-life care. A team of health care professionals and volunteers provides it. They give medical, psychological, and spiritual support. The goal of the care is to help people who are dying have peace, comfort, and dignity. The caregivers try to control pain and other symptoms so a person can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice programs also provide services to support a patient's family. Usually, a hospice patient is expected to live 6 months or less. Hospice care can take place. At home, At a hospice center, In a hospital, In a skilled nursing facility. The hospice team usually includes doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy or other counselors, and trained volunteers. The team may also include speech, physical, and occupational therapists, if needed. A hospice team member is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support. The hospice team will work with the patient on the patientâs goals for end-of-life care, not a predetermined plan or scenario. Hospice care is very individualized. Hospice care most often takes place at home. Hospice services may include doctor or nursing care, medical supplies and equipment, home health aide services, short-term respite (relief) services for caregivers, drugs to help manage cancer-related symptoms, spiritual support and counseling, and social work services. Patientsâ families are also an important focus of hospice care, and services are designed to give them assistance and support. However, hospice care can also be delivered in special in-patient facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Last date updated on July, 2014