Hospice care is designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focus on the comfort and quality of life, rather than a cure.
The goal is to enable patients to be comfortable and free of pain so that they live each day as fully as possible.
Hospice care aims to:
- Make the patient comfortable
- Ease pain and other symptoms
- Support the family through a sad and difficult time.
Hospice care tries to provide the best quality of life for dying patients. It offers spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical comfort to the patients, their families, and their caregivers.
The hospice care team partners with the patient's physician to ensure the patient's end-of-life wishes are met. The goal is to keep the patient comfortable with their pain and other symptoms managed, so they have time with their family to say all they need to say and get their life in order.
Doctors recommend hospice care when curative treatment is no longer working or the patient decides they no longer wish to pursue curative treatment.
Patients are eligible for hospice when it has been determined that they have six months or less to live if their disease follows its usual progression.
Hospice care can occur wherever patients are spending their final days. This includes a home, hospital, nursing home or hospice facility.
Members of the hospice team try to help patients be as pain-free as possible.
They also try to help them be at peace with themselves and their illness. At the same time, the hospice team provides support, education, and counseling to family members and friends.