Hospice care affirms the belief that it is important to make every moment of life as meaningful as possible, from the first days of a life-limiting illness to the last. Hospice care seeks to validate the quality of life rather than the quantity. It also provides compassion and dignity for both the patient and family members. Hospice focuses on relieving the symptoms of the illness, as well as managing pain, and providing emotional and spiritual support. Many consider hospice to be comfort care because hospice is designed to keep the patient as pain free as possible while they enjoy their remaining time with family and loved ones.
Hospice is often misunderstood. A common belief is patients are giving up or choosing to end their life. Quite the contrary, hospice patients are electing to live every minute to its fullest, maintaining as much independence and access to family and friends as possible. Helping people understand the philosophy of hospice is part of the changing culture in long-term care. These services are intended to promote a purposeful life and dignity in death.
Hospice care is for people who have a life expectancy of six months or less and have chosen to focus on palliative care, comfort, and relief from pain symptoms. Diagnoses commonly associated with hospice care may include, but are not limited to: Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Alzheimers, Respiratory Disease, Liver/Renal Disease, and Neurological Disease. Also common are AIDS/HIV, Adult failure to thrive, Stroke and Coma.
Services provided by Hospice vary depending on patient needs, but may include nursing care, medications, medical supplies and equipment related to the diagnosis, assistance with personal care, and 24 hour access to a Physician, Nurses and a Chaplain. In addition services include bereavement services and spiritual counseling. These services are fully covered by Medicare and Medicaid, and coverage is unlimited in length, and may be covered by many private insurances with no out-of-pocket expenses to the patient.
Editors Note: Please call for additional information, volunteer opportunities, or to get involved with Culture Change in your community: Kimberly Ware, Administrator with Dignity Home Health & Hospice who may be reached at 801-934-6279 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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