Hospice Care

What is hospice care?

Hospice care focuses on relieving your symptoms and improving the quality of the last months of your life. Hospice care will be specific to your needs and the needs of your family. Care can be provided at home or in a hospital. It can also be provided in a specialized hospice facility or long-term care facility.

Who provides hospice care?

Hospice care is provided by a team trained in support and education related to death and dying. This team includes doctors, nurses, and social workers. It may also include home health aides, clergy, therapists, and trained volunteers. A team member will be available any time day or night to answer questions or help with problems. The hospice doctor and your healthcare provider will work together to manage your treatment.

What do hospice care services include?

  • Treatment management helps ease your symptoms, such as pain. This may be done using medicines or certain therapies. Equipment, a bed, or other medical supplies may be provided to help care for you.

  • Emotional and psychological care is provided to help you, your family, and those close to you cope with their feelings. Regular meetings will be held to discuss your condition, your needs, and the needs of your loved ones. You and your family may join support groups or meet others in similar situations.

  • Respite care provides your family and healthcare providers up to 5 days to rest from providing care. During this time, you will be cared for in a hospice facility, hospital, or long-term care facility.

  • Practical support assists you and your family with concerns such as legal issues and funeral arrangements. Your social worker can help you find services that fit your needs and your family's needs.

  • Spiritual and cultural support helps you and your family evaluate religious values and cultural beliefs. Thinking about values and beliefs may make it easier to understand and accept your condition.

  • Loss support is provided to the family for about 1 year after death. The hospice care team will help your family through the process of grieving. Your loved ones will receive visits and phone calls, and may be referred to support groups.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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