Everything You Need to Know About Hospice Care

Hospice is a type of health care that focuses on an individual with a terminal illness.  The goal of hospice care is to allow your loved one to live as well as possible for as long as possible, increasing their quality of life. 

When does hospice care begin?

In general, hospice care should be used when a person is expected to live about 6 months or less.  Sometimes families or the patient are resistant to starting hospice because they may feel as if they are “giving up”.  However, it’s good to know also that hospice is not a permanent choice. 

Example: If your kidneys are failing, you may choose the hospice program rather than continuing with dialysis.  You can always change your mind and stop hospice care and start back on treatments.  Also, people may improve unexpectedly and discontinue the service with the option of returning in the future. 

What does hospice provide?

  • 24/7 on-call-nurse.  May only provide a couple of hours of care a day/ burdensome on the family 
  • Nurses/Aides to assist with bathing/dressing
  • Medicine to ease pain
  • Social Worker and counseling for not only the patient, but also their loved ones

What can families do for additional support?

  • Support groups for family caregivers
  • Additional Caregivers- This allows family members to get out of the home for a block of time, or for them to even stay home and take care of themselves.  This will provide family with a peace of mind of having someone with their loved one and not feeling as if they are leaving them alone.
  • Meal Calendar- organized by family/friends- Families often neglect caring for themselves, not worrying about meals is a big help
Watch this video on FOX Rochester