Hospice Care: Quality of Life, Not Just End of Life


When people hear hospice care, they probably think of the care given to a person at the end of their life. And, while this is true, there is often the misconception that once someone enters hospice care, they are “giving up” or waiting to die. Hospice care is not just about preparing someone for their final days but enhancing the quality of life for that person weeks and months before.

Anyone with an accepted diagnosis and prognosis of 6 months or less to live can receive hospice care. So, for those six months, they can receive care that allows them to live as well as possible. The earlier someone seeks hospice services after a terminal diagnosis, the more hospice care can do for them.

The Value of Hospice

Hospice sees the value of its work differently than other medical disciplines. While an oncologist might measure success by the effectiveness of chemotherapy reducing the size of a tumor, hospice’s main focus is on how a patient is living. A patient’s oncologist and care team might try various curative treatments and procedures to extend a patient’s life. Hospice looks to increase the quality of a patient’s life.

When curative treatments get to the point that they are no longer working or are seriously diminishing a patient’s quality of life, hospice care becomes a better option. Depending on where a patient is at in their journey, quality of life becomes the more important issue.

If a patient’s treatment is making them so sick they can’t get out of bed, is there another option? If a procedure brings about more risks and complications, is it worth it? If the pain a patient feels worsens every day, what can be done?

These questions, of course, are extremely difficult to answer.

Along with providing help with symptom and pain management to address a patient’s physical needs, the hospice care team also considers their emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual needs.

Does the patient want to spend their last few months being more active? More aware? More themselves? Do they want to be able to get out of bed in the morning? Cook a meal for a loved one? Take a walk with friends?

Each moment should be spent how the patient wants to spend it. That’s what hospice care strives to foster. 

Quality of Care. Quality of Life.


At Faith Hospice, we don’t just ask a patient to think, “What are my wishes for how to die?” but, “What are my wishes for how I want to live?” From playing music at a patient’s bedside to getting them ready to attend a family function or helping them cross items off their “bucket list”, we are there to help.

The care we provide also extends to a patient’s loved ones. By keeping them informed and included, we can put together a treatment plan that best enhances the patient’s quality of life. With established goals, a set plan, and a schedule in place, we can help a patient’s end of life journey become closer to what they want it to be.


A Longer Stay for Better Care.


In 1999, the average time spent in hospice was 28 days. In 2018, that number rose to nearly 80 days. As people become more aware of the benefits of extended care, hospice providers like Faith Hospice  continue to evolve. The longer a patient is with us, the more we are able to get to know their hopes and wishes and see them to fruition. We want to be able to give our patients an end of life journey that is full of life. Longer stays give us more opportunities to do that.