Hospice care: When comfort, not cure, is the focus
Medicine has made amazing strides in preventing illness and curing disease. Most people live longer and with less pain than in the past. Still, there may come a time in the course of certain diseases when a cure may not be possible. It's at this stage that many people choose hospice care.
Mom's Places are licensed by the Department of Social Services to provide hospice care for our residents. With the responsible parties permission, we become our residents advocate in dealing with hospice physician, nurses, pharmacy, medical supply houses and Medicare or other insurance companies. We address the two biggest fears most dying people have — the fear of pain and the fear of being alone. Our staff monitors and administers medications in order to obtain appropriate pain relief ( a doctor or registered nurse is used for any inoculations that may be necessary). We provide care and comfort with plenty of reassurance. Along with family and friends, we see to it that your loved one is not alone during this last and important phase of his or her life.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice is a concept rooted in the centuries-old idea of offering a place of shelter and rest, or "hospitality" to weary and sick travelers on a long journey. Dame Cicely Saunders at St. Christopher's Hospice in London first applied the term "hospice" to specialized care for dying patients in 1967. Today, hospice care provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.
Hospice is a philosophy of care. The hospice philosophy recognizes death as the final stage of life and seeks to enable patients to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice care treats the person rather than the disease; it emphasizes quality rather than length of life. It provides family-centered care involving the patient and family in making decisions. Care is provided for the patient and family 24 hours-a-day and 7 days-a-week. Hospice care can be given in the patient's home, a hospital, nursing home, private hospice facility or a licensed assisted living home as are Mom's Places.
Hospice care is appropriate when the patient can no longer benefit from curative treatment and the life expectancy is, at most, no longer than 6 months. The patient, family, and doctor decide together when hospice services should begin. If the condition improves or the disease goes into remission, you can be discharged from the hospice program and return to a pro-active treatment, if desired. Hospice care may be resumed at a later time.
Hospice care itself, like all medical care, is designed to relieve or decrease pain, control other symptoms, and give you as much quality time as possible with family and friends. But unlike other medical care, the focus is no longer on curing disease. The goal of hospice care is to achieve as high a quality of life as possible during your final days.
While most people receiving hospice care have cancer, hospice is available for other types of terminal illness. These include cases of severe heart or lung disease and some cases of dementia.
Mom's Places are committed in offering hospice care to any of our residents who enter the program without any additional cost. For a non-resident, the patient would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis and if accepted, be billed at our regular rate plus a 25% surcharge.