Receiving Hospice Care
When you decide to be cared for by a hospice program, it means that your treatment goals will shift from doing everything possible
to cure your condition to giving you the best quality of life that is possible in the time you have left.
You don't need to be bedridden or in a
hospital to benefit from hospice care. No matter what your physical condition,
hospice services focus on keeping you as comfortable, functional, and alert as
Your hospice team may include medical
professionals, counselors, therapists, social workers, spiritual advisers, home
health aides, and trained volunteers. Your team can:
- Help with
advance directive forms and making sure that your wishes about life support and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) are carried out.
- Answer questions about palliative treatments, which relieve pain and other symptoms.
- Help you with things like
daily activities, bathing, eating, and moving around.
- Help you figure out
what is important in terms of putting your legal and financial affairs in
- Help you and your family talk to each other and deal with
- Give your caregivers a break (respite care). Trained volunteers
may be available to relieve your loved ones for a few hours a week. If your
caregivers need a longer break or must be away to attend a special event, some
hospices provide respite care for several days.
Counseling and support
Counseling and support services that hospice provides can
help you to:
- Resolve differences with family and friends or
say important things that may otherwise go unsaid.
- Review your life and set goals for the time you have left.
- Explore spiritual
Hospice care also includes helping your family and friends
through their grief after you die. Most programs continue to provide
bereavement services for family and friends, such as support groups and
counseling, for at least a year after a loved one's death.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
August 14, 2012
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