Q. The doctor has suggested we put my mother on hospice, but I don’t really understand what that means. Can you explain hospice to me?
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, “Hospice affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death.” The goal of hospice is to enhance the quality of a person’s remaining life by providing medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support. Hospice also provides support for the families of the patient. Hospice can be at home or in a facility with a home-like environment.
Hospice differs from the other types of health care in these ways:
Hospice offers palliative (comfort), rather than curative, treatment.
Hospice treats the person, not the disease.
Hospice emphasizes quality, rather than length, of life.
Hospice considers the entire family, not just the patient.