Hospice care is a choice you make to enhance life for a dying person. A< person with a terminal disease may choose to die at home with the support of family, friends, and caring professionals. Hospice care emphasizes comfort measures and counseling to provide social, spiritual and physical support to the dying patient and his or her family. All hospice care is under professional medical supervision. Over 90% of hospice care is provided in the patient's home.
Traditional care emphasizes the use of medical interventions, hospitalization and drugs to cure or control disease. Traditional care may involve aggressive and expensive high-tech medicine. The traditional approach is appropriate, when cure is possible. The traditional approach may also be the appropriate choice, when cure is not possible. However, it is not the only choice.
The physical pain arising from a terminal illness may be debilitating, frightening and dehumanizing. Hospice providers have the skills and resources to permit persons to live as pain-free, as comfortable, and as full a life as possible.
In addition to providing for the physical comfort of the dying person, hospice provides social and spiritual support for the patient and his or her family. This support takes the form of time-off for the primary caregiver, personal care, nutritional counseling, pastoral counseling, grief counseling, and help with legal and funeral arrangements.
In 1994 over 300,000 persons chose hospice care in the United States. This is more than twice as many as in 1985. Over 90% of hospice care is provided in the patients home.
There are over 2,500 hospices in the United States. About one-half of the hospices are associated with home health agencies or hospitals