What is Hospice

Hospice represents a specific niche within healthcare services that is not aimed at treating patients or management of health problems but helps to improve the everyday quality of life of patients. Rather than stressing upon medications and alternative treatment therapies, Hospice is concerned with ensuring sufficient psychological and physical support to patients and their families.

Hospice is usually offered to patients who are suffering from chronic illnesses, including life-long diseases and those almost assured to cause the patient’s demise. Such patients often find it difficult to tend to their daily needs, get detached from their families and are associated with highly depressive tendencies.

Hospice is not aimed at alleviating the symptoms, prolonging or delaying the expected fatality. It merely ensures that pain and other problems associated with a treatment regimen are alleviated and the patient can carry-on in a more dignified manner. Hospice care is usually provided by volunteers and members of support groups who are trained by certified professionals to ensure that appropriate medical care is provided. Hospice team members can also include nurses, social workers and lab assistants.

Hospice volunteers try to help the patient deal with the distress caused by injections and medications, encouraging them to fight the symptoms. Hospice team members are encouraged to interact more with patients, their friends and families to ensure that the patient finds the kind of social and emotional support that is needed for living with chronic illnesses. Many hospice professionals are trained counselors and are specifically asked to help the patient or his family in adopting a kind of perspective that would induce less stress on the household.

Hospice is often dubbed as providing compassionate care for patients who are most likely to die. However, hospice is much more than just providing compassion. It is essentially an amalgamation of supplementary medical care with moral emotional support that extends beyond the patient. Hospice workers might have a more demanding profile than home-based caregivers who offer similar but more restrictive services.

One of the most common applications of hospice care is found among cancer patients who need to handle issues like an untimely death and the pain of being separated from their families. A Hospice provider can play the role of a caregiver, counselor, spiritual healer or psychologist or borrow bits from each of these niches. Hospice care is usually not chargeable for patients covered as a part of Medicare Part A. Insurance coverage for hospice is common, including coverage under Medicaid with out-of-pocket expenses being minimal.

Hospice does have some basic requirements. For instance, the attending physician should be able to prove that the patient isn’t responding to all the approved methods of treatment and hospital stay can no longer benefit his treatment. Further, it should be established that the patient doesn’t have much time to live. The timeline is not the point of speculation but establishing that the patient is most certain to die in the near future is a slightly demanding process. Hospice care is usually administered at home but it can also be extended to another location where the patient chooses to live including retirement or nursing homes.