What is Hospice?

Hospice is a type of care and a philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, or psychosocial in nature. Hospice care focuses on bringing comfort, self-respect, and tranquility to people in the final year of life. Patients’ symptoms and pain are controlled, goals of care are discussed and emotional needs are supported. Hospice believes that the end of life is not a medical experience, it is a human experience that benefits from expert medical and holistic support that hospice offers. The concept of hospice has been evolving since the 11th century. Then, and for centuries thereafter, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded, or dying, as well as those for travelers and pilgrims. The modern concept of hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill given in such institutions as hospitals or nursing homes, but also care provided to those who would rather spend their last months and days of life in their own homes.

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