Hospice care helps people with illnesses that cannot be cured and who are nearing death. The goal is to give comfort and peace instead of a cure. Hospice care provides:
- Support for the patient and the family
- Relief to the patient from pain and symptoms
- Help for family members and loved ones who want to stay close to the dying patient
Most hospice patients are in their last 6 months of life.
Making the Decision to Start Hospice
When you choose hospice care, you have decided that you no longer want care to cure your terminal illness. This means no longer receiving treatment that is intended to cure any of your chronic health problems. Any treatment provided is intended to keep you comfortable.
Your health care providers cannot make the decision for you, but they can answer questions and help you make your decision
- What is the chance for curing your cancer or illness?
- If you cannot be cured, how much time would any active treatment provide you?
- What would your life be like during this time?
- Can you change your mind after you have started hospice?
- What will the dying process be like for you? Can you be kept comfortable?
Starting hospice care changes the way you will be receiving care, and it may change who will be providing the care.