Does hospice mean death?


Many people wonder if choosing hospice means losing hope or if it means choosing death. In fact, this is not hospice at all.

Gary John Norman / Getty Images

Here's what you need to know about the goals and benefits of palliative care. Understanding what hospice really means and addressing any misconceptions you may have can help you decide if this is the right option for you or your loved one.

The purpose of hospice

Patients and their families often choose palliative care when it is determined that a person's illness is no longer curable and therefore considered incurable.

Rather than focusing on medical treatments (such as chemotherapy or surgery), hospice focuses on treating symptoms of illnesses such as pain, nausea, or shortness of breath. Hospice programs can also provide social workers and spiritual counselors to help the patient come to terms with their prognosis and, in some cases, improve the relationship between the patient and loved ones.

Most hospice services are covered by Medicare Hospice Benefit (MHB) . MHB covers four levels of service , including:

  • Routine Home Care – This includes regular nursing services, medical supplies and physical therapy, and other services that are provided in the patient's home.
  • General Inpatient Hospice Care – This includes treatment for anxiety symptoms, which can only be provided in a hospital or other facility where intensive care and other support is available outside the home.
  • Temporary care – Temporary care is short-term hospital treatment designed to provide temporary care to the primary caregiver.
  • Ongoing Home Care: Ongoing care supports the patient and caregiver during short periods of crisis by providing nursing, home care aide, and housekeeping services for 8-24 hours a day.

A new definition of hope

People who choose hospice do not lose hope; they actually override it. Although they no longer have the ability to cure illness, they redirect their hopes to repairing and rebuilding relationships, spending quality time with loved ones, and finding peace and comfort.

Some people may turn to their religious faith during this time and resolve financial issues or other parts of their lives that they do not want to leave unresolved.

Most patients spend about three weeks in hospice, but in hindsight, families might think that the person should have been admitted to hospice prior to the illness and had more time to experience the benefits.

What a hospice looks like

Hospice is not a physical place, but a general philosophy of caring for someone at the end of life. However, there are separate facilities that provide hospice care when someone cannot live in their own home. In any case, hospice is usually made up of nurses, social workers, healthcare workers, and many others.

Hospice care at home

Most hospice services are provided at the patient's place of residence, whether it is a private home, a nursing home, or a serviced apartment complex. Being surrounded by familiar things and surroundings is the main principle of hospice care.


Independent hospices may be run by a hospice agency that also provides home care, or they may be independently owned. For patients who do not have home care aides, or those who require more complex physical assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a freestanding hospice may be a good option.

Choosing hospice does not mean choosing death

Choosing hospice means choosing to focus on living as fully and comfortably as possible for the rest of the time. People who qualify for hospice care are expected to die in six months or less, but that doesn't mean their goal is death. In fact, many people live much longer than six months. You can stop and resume your hospice treatment at any time.

Usually when choosing hospice, a person has already been through a lot. Multiple hospitalizations, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and invasive tests and treatments can make patients feel sick and tired. Hospice care can prevent people from living the rest of their lives in pain and exhaustion.

However, palliative care is not limited to cancer patients. In fact, hospice patients often suffer from medical conditions such as dementia, heart , liver, kidney, or lung disease.

When choosing hospice, patients focus on the quality of their lives more than how long they can live, especially if living longer means living with stress and not having time to do the really important things. With this in mind, it becomes clear that when choosing hospice, quality should be preferred over quantity.

People often do not understand the difference between hospice and palliative care . The goal of palliative care is to relieve pain. It can be performed at any time during the illness, even in combination with medical procedures. Palliative care is one aspect of hospice care, but hospice treatment has been discontinued and the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less.

What hospice allows

Hospice patients who are still moving and energetic can use the time they previously spent on doctor's appointments and hospital stays to spend family vacations, travel to places they have always wanted to see, and enjoy each other's company. your loved ones.

If the patient is no longer able to leave home (or hospice), and when they can no longer be, the hope is that the patient can spend meaningful time with the important people in their life and leave most of the practical care to them. themselves. a hospice team that can help bathe the patient, administer medications, prepare food, and even help with paperwork.

In hospice, patients have access to healthcare professionals with experience in pain management, as well as treatments and medications that can alleviate discomfort. Dying patients also have access to emotional, social, and spiritual support from social workers and chaplains.

As a person nears the end of his life, he may worry about what will happen after his death. They may also have "unfinished business" they want to resolve. Social workers and spiritual counselors can help with this, as well as help you release any guilt or shame you may have for what happened in your life.

Get the word of drug information

After all, only you can decide when and where you want to spend until the last days. You may have accepted that additional treatment will not cure your illness and that you do not want to die in the hospital. Choosing a hospice will help you stay in a family environment with people who are important to you.

Choosing hospice means that you accept that your illness is no longer curable, but that does not mean that you are losing hope.

Related Articles
Choosing foods to diet after a heart attack

All cardiovascular specialists agree that a healthy diet is important to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease (CHD) Read more

Different types of hysterectomies.

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of a woman's uterus . Hysterectomy is usually done Read more

Esthetician: experience, specialties and training

An esthetician is a person who specializes in cosmetic skin care. Cosmetologists (sometimes called estheticians ) are not medical Read more

Benefits, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions.

CBD oil is an extract from Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa , the same plants that produce marijuana when Read more