Hospice care is a choice you make to enhance life for someone with a life limiting illness. Your loved one may choose to be in a familiar environment 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 patient and his or her family. All hospice care is provided under professional medical supervision. Over 90% of hospice care is provided in the patient's home. Home for the patient may be with a loved one, in a long term care or nursing facility.
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 responds to the unique needs of those with life limiting illness by providing physical and emotional care to not only the patient but also their families and loved ones. The hospice philosophy seeks to allow the ill person to be at home, close to family and friends, while still under professional medical supervision.
Most hospice patients have cancer. Others suffer from AIDS, Lou Gehrig's disease, heart or lung disease, and other fatal conditions. Whatever disease or condition the person may have, the role of hospice is the same. -- to provide professional medical care, to manage pain and other symptoms, and to meet the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of each patient and their family.
Hospice exists in the hope and belief that, though appropriate care, patients and their families may be free to attain a degree of mental and spiritual preparation for death that is meaningful and satisfactory to them.
Hospice care is sensitive, dignified and cost-effective health care. Hospice care has been proven to be less costly than traditional health care, with higher levels of patient and family satisfaction.
Who Should Be Referred to Hospice?
Individuals, of any age, with a limited life expectancy who desire to receive palliative care for themselves and comprehensive support for their loved ones. They should make an informed decision to receive non-curative care to manage related pain and symptoms. Hospice care is available to persons with heart disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, AIDS and any other life-limiting illness. This care is provided regardless of residence at home, in a long term care or assisted living facility or current hospitalization.
When Should A Patient Be Referred?
Early referral is essential to providing the most comprehensive care available to meet the needs of the patient and his or her family and loved ones. The following changes may indicate a need for a Hospice referral:
· Treatment goals that shift from curative to palliative · At patient request to discontinue aggressive treatment · An apparent and progressive deterioration of the patient’s condition and abilities · There is a need for additional social, spiritual and emotional support for the patient and family
To refer a patient or consult a hospice team member for patient evaluation, please call your local Unity Hospice® family, call Toll Free at 888-949-1188 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org