Hospice is

clipart of man scratching his head What is Hospice?

In medieval times, a hospice was a place of shelter for ill or weary travelers on difficult journeys. Today, the word "hospice" has come to mean a special way of caring for terminally ill adults and children.


The team of hospice staff members includes nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides, doctors, and volunteers, all working together to meet the unique needs and desires of each patient and his or her family. The goal of hospice's patient care program is to help bring:

Dignity and comfort to terminally ill patients, through the control of pain and relief of symptoms.

Emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families during the patient's illness.

Lasting physical and emotional well-being to people dealing with the death of a loved one.



Who uses Hospice's services?

Hospice's services are available to all who need them. People who find Hospice's "special way of caring" especially helpful include:

Adults and children with life-threatening illnesses, for whom medical treatments aimed at cure are no longer possible or desired.

Family members of terminally ill patients.

Individuals and families who have experienced the death of a loved one and desire help in returning to the mainstream of living.

Parents and other family members concerned about how best to help children deal with illness or death in the family.



What does Hospice do?

An individualized plan of care is developed for each Hospice patient. In carrying out the patient care plan, Hospice may provide or arrange for services including:

Regular visits by a Hospice nurse

Education and training of caregivers in how to care for the patient

Coordinate with patient's physician and other community resources

Individual, family, and group counseling

Assistance with legal and financial matters

Spiritual counseling, if desired, by Hospice chaplains or local clergy

Specialized services for children

Medical equipment, supplies, and medications


Assistance with day-to-day activities by Hospice volunteers

Counseling support for family members for one year following patient's death

Professional staff on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week



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