Hospice – Basic Questions

What is hospice?

Hospice is a comprehensive program of services designed to help patients and their families who are facing end stage illnesses. Hospice enables patients to live their remaining days with comfort and dignity often in the familiar surroundings of home, with family and friends. Pain management and symptom control are the clinical goals of hospice.

Hospice is a special kind of caring for persons with life limiting illnesses and their families that:

• Treats the physical needs of the patient and his or her emotional and spiritual needs.
• Takes place in the patient’s home, or in their permanent residence.
• Concentrates on making patients as comfortable and free of pain as possible so they can make the most of the time that remains.
• Considers helping family members an essential part of its mission.
• Believes the quality of life to be as important as the length of life.

More than a million patients and their families have utilized the services of hospice nationwide. May surviving family members have said, “I don’t know what I would have done without hospice.” And many credit it with helping make their final days with loved ones warm and memorable.

Why hospice?

Because no one wants to die alone in sterile, impersonal surroundings, hooked up by tubes to machines and cut off from family and friends and all that’s familiar. Nor does anyone want to die in pain. If possible, it’s better to spend the last days at home, alert and free of pain, among the people and things that are loved. HomeCare Matters Hospice hopes to increase the significance of terminally ill patient’s remaining days through the provision of an umbrella of services including physical, emotional, and spiritual support, medications for symptom management, as well as medical equipment and supplies necessary for care.