Ask The Doc – Is Hospice Care only for people who have given up on life?

By Dr. David B. Stein
Medical Director, Kirva Hospice

Hospice Care is only for people who have given up on life

It is a common misconception that hospice is about dying when in reality, it is designed to help terminally ill patients live their final days to their fullest. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) considers hospice care the model for quality and compassionate care for people facing a life limiting illness. It provides medical care and pain management as well as emotional and spiritual support tailored to the patient’s needs and desires. The ultimate goal of hospice is to increase the patient’s quality of life and provide support for the family members and caregivers to ensure the patient’s final days are as comfortable and pain free as possible.

Entering Hospice Care means giving up control over your care

Hospice care is intended to increase quality of life for terminally ill patients, so it cannot be forced on anyone. This form of care is administered by a team of professionals (interdisciplinary team) which consists of Medical Directors, R.N.’s, MSW’s, Spiritual & Bereavement Specialists and Nurses’ Aides, specially trained to provide care and support to meet the patient’s medical, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Treatment varies patient to patient, on a case-by-case basis. Hospice continues medications that manage and control the symptoms and pain of the diagnosis. The patient always has the right to request or refuse hospice services.