Hospice & Palliative Care
Hospice is for a patient with an advanced illness and a limited life expectancy. Hospice is defined as a program designed to provide palliative care and emotional support to terminally ill people in a home or homelike setting so that quality of life is maintained and family members can be active participants in care. A hospice also provides grief support after a loved one has died. Hospice care can be provided in a specialized hospice care facility or it can be offered in the patient’s own home where the nurses will come out to visit.
Palliative care is a specialized area of medicine focused on helping patients with serious illness live as long and as comfortably as possible. The role of palliative care is to:
- Treat the patient’s symptoms, including pain, depression, nausea, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, anxiety, and anything else causing distress or discomfort.
- Coordinate the care that the patient is receiving from different providers, including other medical providers and community resources.
- Offer emotional support to the patient’s family caregivers and loved ones feeling distress or burden.
- Help the patient and their family to clarify what matters most to them and convey that to their healthcare team.