By: Barbara Bluhm Hospice care is the provision of emotional support, medical services and spiritual care for people
who are in their last stages of terminal diseases like cancer and heart failure. It helps family members to cope
with caring for a dying loved one and emotionally prepares them to live life after the family member.
Importance and Purpose of Hospice Care
This care keeps you comfortable and improves on your quality of life while you are dying. Remember that terminal
illnesses are very painful at their final stages therefore patients are very uncomfortable due to the pain plus
they are distressed hence they need some care to improve their quality of life by showing them love. Unlike other
medical services meant to cure your disease or prolong your dying process, hospice care focus on relieving pain and
These services are available any day at anytime and some are even available in nursing homes, hospitals and other
• Basic medical care that’s aimed at relieving your pain and disease symptoms.
• Supply of medicines and equipment as you need them.
• Counseling to offer you and your family support to help in mental, spiritual and emotional preparation.
• Guidance with the issues associated with life clearance.
• Gives a break for other caregivers like family and friends who always care for you while you are sick.
• Offers volunteer support like meal preparation and performing chores.
• Counseling and support for your loved ones after you die.
Hospice Services Participants.
Usually hospice services are provided in your home by a caring and close family member but a medical practitioner
who is part of your hospice team will be visiting you regularly. The hospice team includes: pharmacists,
respiratory therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, music therapists, physical therapists, and occupational
therapists. In case of emergency or fear a nurse can be called to your home using the emergency numbers that work
24 hours of the day.
People who need Hospice Care
For one to be referred to hospice care:
• Suffering from a terminal illness that has been termed incurable by doctors.
• Your doctor has determined that your life expectancy is less than half a year.
It is very difficult for a human in this case a doctor to predict the time that an individual will live. Sometimes
a person may die before the predicted time or some live longer. Even if you live longer you should continue with
hospice care and only stop when your condition gets better and you are “freed” by your doctor.
The good thing about hospice care is that the services are not prejudicial, they don’t discriminate on age, sex,
color, religion, diagnosis of health problem, cultural background, your wealth or sexual orientation. Hospice care
services are free since the payments are catered for by Medicare and most Medicaid programs. When searching and
shopping for insurance policies, make sure that you choose the one that will provide cover for your hospice care so
that you can be taken care of when you are terminally ill.