Hospice care is a special service that provides compassionate, comprehensive medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support to people who are in the final stages of a terminal illness.
The goal of is to keep the patient as pain-free and comfortable as possible so that their remaining time can be with loved ones nearby. Hospice does not hasten or slow down the process of dying. Specially trained hospice teams work together to accommodate the patient’s end-of-life needs.
According to Don Martin, Director, Business Development, 365Hospice, one of Pennsylvania’s leading hospice organizations with a network across Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Altoona, State College and Carrolltown, there are important reasons why patients and their families should consider hospice.
Hospice care should be considered if:
- A disease or illness is expected to shorten your life or the life of a loved one
- Treatment(s) originally designed to cure the illness or prolong life has become more of a burden than a benefit to you or a loved one
- You would like to spend your remaining life comfortably (e.g., in your own home) surrounded by family and friends
Martin adds that eligibility for most hospice programs, including 365Hospice, is primarily based on the fact that the illness is terminal and cannot be cured, and that your doctor expects you will live 6 months or less if your illness runs its normal course.
“Hospice is something we all may need at some point in our lives, either for ourselves or for loved ones,” said Martin. “Hospice should be considered as an option in the last months of life because it offers a number of important benefits, not only for the patient, but also for family and friends.”