Hospice is a word that many people are familiar with. You hear it on the news, from a neighbor, or through a family member. “So-and-so has entered hospice.” It’s often said as a signifier that a person is in their final days. And while it’s true that easing the pain and discomfort of someone during this time is a common practice of hospice care, there is much more to it. Oftentimes, entering hospice is a choice that the patient makes on their own or with the help of loved ones and doctors. So, now, you may be left wondering, “Why would someone choose to enter hospice care?”
Making the most of their time.
As mentioned previously, hospice is most often associated with someone who is near death. While that’s partially true, hospice services can provide care to anyone that has been given a prognosis of six months or less to live—not just weeks or days. So, going back to the question, “Why would someone choose this?” the answer is simple: the patient wants to make the most of the time they have left.
Someone undergoing treatment for a life-limiting illness can also reach a point where their treatment has become as debilitating if not worse than the disease itself, hindering their quality of life. Whether due to illness or old age, many patients—after a hard-fought battle and well-lived life—are choosing to opt into hospice care rather than spend their final months making frequent hospital visits and dealing with the side effects of intense treatment and medication.
How does hospice empower patients and their families?
Upon entering hospice care, the focus shifts from curative treatment to quality-of-life care. So, rather than taking many trips to the doctors or spending time recovering from treatments and side effects, patients can embrace the things that are most important to them. Their team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, aides, and volunteers is now at the patients and their loved ones' disposal to help manage physical comfort, provide emotional support, and offer spiritual guidance.
By entering hospice care, a whole new set of tools and resources become available to people that help increase their quality of life—whatever that means to them. Sometimes, what the patient wants are big things—checking one last item off the bucket list, seeing a grandchild walk down the aisle, or taking a final family trip . But often, it’s the little things: sleeping in their own bed, enjoying home cooked meals, and going through the beloved routines they’ve developed over their lifespan.
We’re here to help.
Hospice is a journey—sometimes long and winding and full of obstacles—and our team is here to walk alongside you. For more about how hospice enhances the quality of life and empowers patients, watch the video below.