Hospice care (Salem Health: Cancer)
Hospice services: A wide range of hospice services are available and are provided based on the specific needs of the terminally ill person and his or her family and friends. The services provided may change during the course of the illness. Hospice services are intended not only to help the terminally ill person but also to provide support to the family during the difficult time and even afterward, during the bereavement process.
Hospice care focuses on making the individual as comfortable as possible during the final weeks or months of life. Relief from pain and other symptoms that interfere with enjoyment of the time remaining is a primary focus. A doctor will prescribe medications as necessary to relieve pain or reduce other symptoms, and they may be administered by a nurse or trained family member. Many hospices have pharmacy services to fill prescriptions. If hospice care is provided in an outpatient setting, nurses will regularly visit the patient to check on progress and administer any necessary services. There are also nurses available twenty-four hours a day to answer any questions the primary caregiver may have and who can send someone out to help immediately if necessary.
The emotional experience of those needing hospice care and their families can be devastating. Skilled therapists, bereavement counselors, and others are available to help the terminally ill person and family through the painful experience...
(The entire section is 1059 words.)
For Further Information (Salem Health: Cancer)
Barraclough, Jennifer, ed. Enhancing Cancer Care: Complementary Therapy and Support. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Head, Barbara Anderson, ed. Study Guide for the Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt, 2004.
Moorhouse, Timothy. Hospice Design Manual: For In-Patient Facilities. Machiasport, Maine: Hospice Education Institute, 2006.
Turk, Dennis C., and Caryn S. Feldman, eds. Noninvasive Approaches to Pain Management in the Terminally Ill. New York: Haworth, 1992.
Zerwekh, Joyce V. Nursing Care at the End of Life: Palliative Care for Patients and Families. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis, 2006.
(The entire section is 85 words.)
Other Resources (Salem Health: Cancer)
American Cancer Society. Hospice Care. Http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/eto_2_4_ hospicecare.asp?sitearea=MLT&level=1
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. http://www.hpna.org
International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care. http://www.hospicecare.com
(The entire section is 38 words.)
Hospice Care (Encyclopedia of Cancer)
Hospice care is palliative care given to individuals who are terminally ill, with an expected survival of six months or less. The focus of hospice care is on meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the dying individual, while fostering the highest quality of life possible.
Hospice services provide palliative care to individuals with a life expectancy of six months or less. Most hospice care is provided in the home, but may take place in a hospice home or a hospice/palliative care area within a medical facility. Requesting hospice care may be the first time that individuals, or their families, acknowledge that their condition is not treatable. It may be the first time that they have to deal with their death as a reality taking place within a few months. The emotional journey to be able to deal with these issues may take a while, and therefore may delay the time when the person begins to receive hospice care.
The focus of hospice is not on treatment, but on pain and symptom management, comfort measures, acknowledging that the individual will die, supporting the family, and trying to provide the best quality of life for the time remaining. Hospice functions under the...
(The entire section is 1464 words.)