Hospice is a concept of care, not a specific place of care. Hospice emphasizes quality rather than quantity of life. The dying are comforted. Professional medical care is given, and sophisticated symptom relief provided. The patient and family are both included in the care plan and emotional, spiritual and practical support is given based on the patient’s wishes and family’s needs.
Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice provides personalized services and a caring community so that patients and families can attain the necessary preparation for a death that is satisfactory to them.
Those involved in the process of dying have a variety of physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs. The nature of dying is so unique that the goal of the hospice team is to be sensitive and responsive to the special requirements of each individual and family. Hospice is often a misunderstood benefit and, often, what people don’t know can stop them from getting the services they need.
Here are 7 things you may not know about hospice:
1. Hospice isn’t a place. Hospice is a group of medically based services that helps patients and caregivers focus on comfort and quality of life.
2. Hospice isn’t expensive. Hospice is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers.
3. Hospice serves people wherever they call home. Hospice can be provided in private homes, apartments, nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.
4. Hospice services can help to keep people in their homes longer by providing medical care and emotional and spiritual support.
5. Hospice isn’t just for the last few weeks of someone’s life. Hospice services are actually more meaningful to people when they are started as soon as someone is eligible for services.
6. Some people who have hospice services improve and no longer need the care.
7. Hospice patients can receive care for longer than six months if they continue to be appropriate and want the service.
Editor’s Note: this article was submitted by Caren Ermel, President and CEO Sangre de Cristo Hospice For more information she can be reached at Sangre de Cristo Hospice at (719) 542-0032,www.sangredecristohospice.org