Considering the Hospice Option
Some people may wonder if receiving hospice care means that they won't receive the same quality of care as other people, or that their death will occur more quickly in hospice care. Your care through hospice will be of the same quality as those receiving treatment for their disease. The difference, however, is that hospice focuses on the quality of life remaining, rather than trying to make it last longer.
Hospice care also does not speed up the end of your life. Some people may actually live longer in hospice care, possibly because they are more comfortable being at home or because they no longer have side effects from aggressive treatments.
If you are concerned that you may not be able to make your own choices on how to spend your last days, hospice can also help with that. Your hospice care team will work with you to help spell out your goals for how you want to spend your last days. They can also help develop a care plan that helps you reach your goals while also keeping you as comfortable as possible. Some hospice therapies may include massage, music therapy, physical therapy, and medication.
Specifically, hospice care provides:
- Regular visits to your home by a hospice member, such as a nurse or volunteer
- Consultations at home or by phone from hospice doctors
- Pain management
- Guidance for the family, such as information about how to best care for your medical and personal needs
- Nursing care, social services, physician services, spiritual support, and counseling
- Emotional support for you and your family
- Nutrition services, physical therapy, and occupational therapy
- Medications and medical supplies for the home
- Respite care, which helps give your friends and family members a break
- Care that is unique for the needs of yourself and your family
- Support during the bereavement time for friends and family.
For those who are near the end of their life, hospice can provide a more comfortable way to spend their final days. The palliative care provided by hospice can help manage pain and improve quality of life. Just because you are seeking hospice and palliative care, it doesn't mean you are giving up hope or speeding up death. This type of care is a way to get the most out of your last phase of life.