Everyone in this room is going to die at some point and statistically speaking it is more than likely half of this room will die from a terminal illness. Most often patients with a terminal disease end up living their last days in the hospital. Hospice is an alternative to institutional death, and one that provides a holistic approach to improve the quality of life in patient’s final days of living. Working as a volunteer for hospice I have witnessed the quality of care that is provided and the serenity it can bring to a family.
Hospitalization and hospice care provide different services. It is important that people understand the differences between hospitalization and hospice care, so that as an individual reaches the end of their lives they can make informed choices about how and where they will spend their final days. Hospitalization is used to treat all kinds of ailments with the goal of restoring health, while hospice care is focused only on providing support to those who are dying.
The Journal of the American Medical Association defines hospice care as end-of-life support provided by healthcare professionals, friends, family and volunteers. Hospice recognizes dying as a normal process, whether or not it results from disease. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death, hospice exists in the hope and belief that, through appropriate care and the promotion of a caring, sensitive community, patients and their families may be free to attain some degree of mental and spiritual preparation for death that is comfortable to them. The goal is to make the medical and emotional process of dying as peaceful and comfortable as possible, by supplying both the patient and the family with spiritual and psychological support.
The hospice movement specializes in pain control, as the aim is to provide people with painfully terminal diseases the best possible quality of life. Care often focuses on easing pain and emotional distress. When a cure is no longer...
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