Hospice care combines physical care with emotional, spiritual and, social services for the patient and family members. It is not meant to bring death about more quickly or to put off death unnaturally but instead seeks to improve comfort and quality of life for the terminally ill patient in the following ways.
- Interdisciplinary hospice staff provides medical care, including pain medications, as well as emotional support to improve a terminally ill patient’s quality of life.
- Through appropriate teamwork, hospice staff can provide physical, psychological, social and spiritual care for the patient and his or her family members and friends.
- At the end of life, hospice care provides bereavement services to family members and friends of the patient.
- Skilled nursing
- Medical doctors
- Hospital and nursing home inpatient care
- In-home care
- Social services
Easily Accessible Services
Almost anyone can refer a patient to hospice for end-of-life care. While this could include the patient’s doctor or social worker, even the patient and his or her family members or friends could provide a referral.
Understanding Palliative Care
Palliative care is different from hospice. While hospice is used only for those at the end of their lives, palliative care may be provided to patients who may still be cured of their serious illnesses. Patients may then go on to recover or may be transferred into hospice care if necessary. Palliative care has improved quality of life and comfort measures as main components of its services.
St. Bernardine’s provides holistic hospice and palliative care. This means that every portion of a person’s body and mind are cared for, and family members and other caregivers are included in the care plan.
When Hospice Is Needed
Hospice may be needed when the hope for a cure disappears, and patients are at the end of their lives. While regular medical care provides treatments that are meant to cure a disease, hospice provides comfort measures for the patient’s many symptoms.
At St. Bernardine’s, the needs of the patient and his or her family members are the focus. We know that each patient has unique needs and care goals, and we strive to create care plans that match them. Whether a patient wants to extend life or minimize pain, our care team will allow the patient to have an integral part in the plan of care throughout the experience.