Hospice is not a place, it is high-quality care that enables patients and families to focus on living as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness. Hospice and palliative care combine the highest level of quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that patients and their families need most when facing a serious illness or the end of life.
Most patients are eligible for hospice care when their physician advises they have a terminal illness and the prognosis is that they will have six months or less to live but it’s best not to view hospice care as a crisis service for just the last few days of life. Those who put off hospice care may spend months in and out of hospitals whole their families struggle to attend to their needs.
An early hospice admission allows both, the patient and their family to receive the full benefit of hospice services delivered by a team of professionals. Hospice team members deliver medical and nursing care, counseling and social services wherever their patient is, at home, in a healthcare facility or in the hospital.
The benefits of choosing hospice early are many and may include assistance in developing a personal plan for the time remaining prior to the end of life. Families benefit from enhanced participation in the care of their loved one, assisted by their connection to an experienced care team during their loved one’s final months. Additionally, when pain and other symptoms are effectively controlled, a patient may not only find relief, they have a potential to live longer.
Earlier admission to hospice allows patients and families to build longer relationships and improve overall care for the body, mind and spirit. Many hospice satisfaction surveys indicate that an overwhelming majority of patients and caregivers state that they would have liked to have been referred to hospice earlier.
Remember that hospice is not a place, it is a word to describe a philosophy of care. It is about helping patients live life to the fullest, with the time they have left. If you are ready to find out more about whether hospice is the right choice for you or your family member, at Anew we are ready to talk with you.