According to the Hospice Foundation of America, hospice care can be defined as:
- Medical care to help someone with a terminal illness live as well as possible for as long as possible, increasing quality of life
- An interdisciplinary team of professionals who address physical, psychosocial, and spiritual distress focused on both the dying person and their entire family
- Care that addresses symptom management, coordination of care, communication and decision making, clarification of goals of care, and quality of life
When a person is diagnosed with a terminal illness, that person can opt to spend his or her remaining days at home, in the hospital, and in other settings. A prognosis of at least six (6) months is often required for someone to get hospice care.
However, before you can place your loved one under hospice, you must secure an official recommendation from your physician. Most of the time, hospice is needed when all available treatments are no longer working, and the patient suffers from continued health decline. (inability to complete daily living activities, weight loss, cognitive decline, etc.)
The goal of hospice is to maintain a person’s quality of life rather than looking for a cure. To identify your loved ones’ hospice goals, talk to them! Let them know their care options and hear their concerns and preferences. As a family member, it may be painstaking to see your loved ones nearing the end of life. But with the right care and support, they will leave the world with remarkable and lifelong memories.
Is hospice care right for your loved one? Set an appointment with us for an assessment.