The Goal of Hospice

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Hospice is a concept of caring derived from medieval times, symbolizing a place where travelers, pilgrims and the sick, wounded or dying could find rest and comfort. The contemporary hospice offers a comprehensive program of care to patients and families facing a life threatening illness. Hospice is primarily a concept of care, not a specific place of care.

Hospice emphasizes palliative rather than curative treatment; quality rather than quantity of life. The dying are comforted. Professional medical care is given, and sophisticated symptom relief provided. The patient and family are both included in the care plan and emotional, spiritual and practical support is given based on the patient’s wishes and family’s needs. Trained volunteers can offer respite care for family members as well as meaningful support to the patient.

Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice provides personalized services and a caring community so that patients and families can attain the necessary preparation for a death that is satisfactory to them.

Those involved in the process of dying have a variety of physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs. The nature of dying is so unique that the goal of the hospice team is to be sensitive and responsive to the special requirements of each individual and family.

Hospice care is provided to patients who have a limited life expectancy. Although most hospice patients are cancer patients, hospices accept anyone regardless of age or type of illness. These patients have also made a decision to spend their last months at home or in a homelike setting.

Hospice & Palliative Care is an interdisciplinary team of volunteers and health care professionals who provide services and support to persons with limited life expectancy and  their loved ones.

Through the centuries, the word hospice has meant a resting place for travelers.  In modern times, the word hospice is used to describe a special concept of care for people who are facing a life-limiting illness or injury. 

Today, hospice and palliative care programs provide care for individuals that choose to remain at home during the final phase of their lives.

Hospice and palliative care is oriented around the belief that every person has the right to die with dignity, free from pain and other unnecessary physical and mental suffering.  To achieve this, a team of health care professionals and volunteers work together to provide patients and their loved ones with the physical, emotional and spiritual comfort they need as they deal with this difficult time of life.   Because no two situations are alike, care plans are individualized to meet the unique needs of each person involved.

In coordination with the health care professional members of the hospice and palliative care team, volunteers are available to assist in a multitude of ways.  Carefully screened and trained, these individuals are able to provide respite care so that caregivers can take a break.  Additionally they are able to provide companionship, do errands or even assist with light household chores.


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