The Hospice Insider | July 18, 2016
Receiving hospice care does not mean giving up hope or that death is imminent.
Hospice focuses on quality of life based on a patients individual choices and making the most of life so they can live life as fully as possible for as long as possible.
It does not mean “giving up hope.” It may just help individuals revise or redefine, what they may hope for. Where one may hope for a cure, they may now hope for less pain or to be as symptom free as possible. The patient might want to spend time at a favorite places or with special individuals, or maybe to just to be home instead of a hospital. While hope might look different in hospice care, it is certainly not lost.
The earlier an individual receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize a patient’s medical condition. In general, hospice care is focused on patients where the life expectancy is six months or less. The earlier a patient receives hospice care the more opportunity there is to stabilize the medical condition, control pain and symptoms and assist with needs of loved ones. However, some patients actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care. Most patients can gain an increased desire to live because their quality of life on hospice usually improves. As shown in clinical studies, clients who receive hospice care typically live longer than those with similar illnesses or conditions who don’t receive hospice care. Individuals can always be re-admitted at a later date when necessary.
In end-of-life care, it is most important to remember that quality care isn’t about how you die; it’s about how you live.