What is Hospice Care and How Does it Work


What is Hospice Care and How Does it Work

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Last Updated on November 10, 2021 by Frank Davis

Hospice care is a type of medical care given to people who are near the end of their life to help them feel comfortable and well cared for. Hospice aims to enable patients to live as actively as possible for as long as possible, but with a focus on comfort rather than curing. It is often given to patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. It is becoming more common for people who are near the end of their life to be cared for in this way.

In the United States, Medicare includes funding for hospice care. The patient may also be able to collect a benefit directly from a state-sponsored program such as Medicaid. For people diagnosed with a terminal illness who are not eligible for hospice care under Medicare, other insurance companies or Medicaid programs may cover home health services that help the patients with their end-of-life care needs while still living at home.

The hospice care approach includes a highly individualized program of services provided to a patient and his or her family. The first step is usually to meet with the patient to discuss what he or she wants, expects, and needs. Specialists, for instance nurses, social workers, and physicians work together to form an interdisciplinary team. They develop individualized plans for the patient based on the goals set by the team.

Once the team agrees on the plan, it is discussed with the patient and his or her family. The team can also assist with any logistical matters such as finances and housing. The plan is followed over time to make sure it works for the patient and his or her family. This team approach, one of the unique aspects of hospice care, helps the patient and family members feel supported and cared for.

In addition to providing pain relief and other physical treatments, hospice addresses the emotional and spiritual needs of those affected by the illness. The goal is to provide as much comfort as possible for as long as possible. This means that people living with a terminal illness may be given palliative treatments, such as medications or other therapies, which relieve symptoms caused by a disease or medical condition. Such symptoms include pain, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, anxiety/depression, and agitation.

Further Reading:
Families Are Waiting Too Long to Use Hospice Care

But there is no cure for a terminal illness. So the idea of hospice care is to focus on the final stages of life and to help people live as actively as possible. The goal of hospice care is simply to make patients “comfortable” and to ensure they receive the best treatment possible.

Hospice care is usually provided in the patient’s home. It may also be given in hospital settings, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, or adult daycare programs. Patients are usually visited regularly by nurses, social workers, and other care providers. The team will try to achieve the best possible outcome for each person, taking into account the patient’s preferences, abilities, and lifestyle.

Hospice care is available for people with a wide range of illnesses and conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Heart/lung/brain/spine/respiratory failure
  • Respiratory diseases, including chronic asthma and fibrosis.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Emphysema, including acute respiratory failure.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.

Hospice care is care given to people who are near the end of their life to help them feel comfortable and well cared for. Patients may choose hospice when they are faced with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less. It is becoming more common for people who are near the end of their life to be cared for in this way. Hospice care includes special services provided by nurses, social workers, and other specialists who work together to form an interdisciplinary team. The goal is to help reduce pain and other symptoms caused by the terminal illness. The idea is that patients can live as actively as possible for as long as possible, but with a focus on comfort rather than curing.

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Author: Frank Davis

After working in the healthcare field for over ten years, Frank Davis has developed considerable expertise and offers you valuable insights into the industry through blogs. He has published blogs for Hospice Valley, Senior Home Care, and 24 Hour Care, and in his leisure time, Frank enjoys reading and writing.

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