Death is an inevitable truth of our lives, and hospice care is associated with it. It is designed to give support to the person who is in the final phase of a terminal illness. The focus is to give comfort and quality of life, rather than to cure.
Origination of Hospice
The word “hospice” originated from the Latin word “hospitium.” It stands for the guesthouse. Hospitum was used for the aftercare provided to sick travelers who returned from pilgrimages.
The goal of the care is to enable patients to feel comfortable and free of pain so that they can spend their last days at ease. Pain makes life terrible and can be like facing a mountain, with each day challenging to pass. A hospice program is usually home-based and also provides services away from home, in nursing homes or hospitals.
Hospice care is associated with providing not only physical but also social, spiritual, and emotional care. It also focuses on the medical symptoms of the patient.
Hospice care has a multidisciplinary team approach that includes a nurse, doctor, social worker, counselor, trained volunteers, and clergy. It is teamwork that enables them to provide not only medical and physical assistance but also emotional and spiritual assistance. The team provides continuous medical care, even at the time of a crisis.
Hospice care does not aim to provide relief from the terminal illness. However, it may treat curable medical conditions such as pneumonia. Aggressive methods of pain IQ can be used.
Levels of Care Offered Under Hospice
There are four types of care offered, with two practiced at home.
Routine Home Care – This is all about taking care of the person at home as a daily routine. It includes nursing and home health aide services.
Continuous home care – This is associated with taking care of the patient at the time of a crisis. It involves day and night services.
General inpatient care – It is short-term care when the patient suffers from aggressive pain and symptoms, needing help from experts.
Respite care – This is short-term care when the personal caretaker of the patient wants to take short term breaks.