Stories of faith, hope, & life

About - What is Hospice Care?


What is Hospice Care? It's not a place. It's not a structure. It's a philosophy of care that addresses, not only physical needs, but psychosocial and spiritual needs as well. Hospice Care Corporation is a free standing, nonprofit organization that answers to the needs of the community.

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What is the Hospice concept?

  • Hospice Care brings compassion, care and support to individuals and their families transitioning through life-limiting illness while providing outreach, education and expertise in grief support to the entire community.
  • Hospice is designed to help persons to live more comfortably and as fully as possible.
  • Hospice Care is a concept of care, not a place.
  • At a time when nothing more can be done to cure the disease, there is still so much that can be done for the patient and loved ones.

Hospice Care’s Goal

  • To relieve pain, fear and loneliness. Our focus remains on the living that is taking place.
  • We want our patients to “embrace life.” We do this by providing complete program of care, which includes: Management of pain, psychological support, social support, physical support, spiritual support
  • We view the family as the unit of care.
  • To be experts in the control of pain and discomfort.

Hospice Care: Care designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. The goal is to enable patients to be comfortable and free of pain, so that they live each day as fully as possible. Aggressive methods of pain control may be used. Hospice programs generally are home-based, but they sometimes provide services away from home -- in freestanding facilities, in nursing homes, or within hospitals. The philosophy of hospice is to provide support for the patient's emotional, social, and spiritual needs as well as medical symptoms as part of treating the whole person.

Hospice programs generally use a multidisciplinary team approach, including the services of a nurse, doctor, social worker and clergy in providing care. Additional services provided include drugs to control pain and manage other symptoms; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; medical supplies and equipment; medical social services; dietary and other counselling; continuous home care at times of crisis; and bereavement services. Although hospice care does not aim for cure of the terminal illness, it does treat potentially curable conditions such as pneumonia and bladder infections, with brief hospital stays if necessary. Hospice programs also offer respite care workers, people who are usually trained volunteers, who take over the patient's care so that the family or other primary caregivers can leave the house for a few hours. Volunteer care is part of hospice philosophy.

The word "hospice" comes from the Latin "hospitium" meaning guesthouse. It was originally described a place of shelter for weary and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages. During the 1960's, Dr. Cicely Saunders began the modern hospice movement by establishing St. Christopher's Hospice near London. St. Christopher's organized a team approach to professional caregiving, and was the first program to use modern pain management techniques to compassionately care for the dying. The first hospice in the United States was established in New Haven, Connecticut in 1974. Today more than 4,800 hospice programs across the country offer comprehensive hospice care. Most insurance plans in the US include hospice as a covered benefit.

- Source: MedicineNet

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