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What is Hospice?
Hospice provides support and care for persons in the last phase of incurable
disease so they may live life as fully and comfortable as possible. Hospice recognizes
dying as part of the normal process of life and focuses on maintaining quality of life.
Hospice affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice exists in the hope
and belief that through appropriate care, patients and their families may attain a
satisfactory degree of mental and spiritual preparation for death.
" The desire of our mother's heart was to spend her last weeks in the
home she was familiar with and to be with the family she loved. Hospice made it possible.
A Loving Daughter"
Hospice is a choice.
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.
Hospice provides relief from pain.
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.
Hospice provides support.
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
Hospice is chosen by hundreds of thousands.
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.
Hospice is available!
There are over 2,500 hospices in the United States. About one-half of the hospices
are associated with home health agencies or hospitals