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Hospice Care

What Does Hospice Care Mean?

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The recent decision by former President Jimmy Carter to transition to hospice brings much-needed attention to this crucial part of healthcare.

What does it mean if your doctor recommends Hospice Care?

Hospice care is an essential and compassionate component of modern medicine, providing support and care to patients and families during the most challenging time of their lives. MedPage Today’s recent article, “What Jimmy Carter Reminds Us About Dying,” says that historically, hospice care has been seen as “giving up on treatment.” However, the former President and ever the leader reminds us that we can opt to focus on comfort and support at the end of life (typically defined as an expected survival of less than six months).

When patients start hospice care, the focus shifts to managing symptoms, emotional support, and spiritual care to alleviate the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that often accompanies a terminal illness.

Hospice care providers work with patients and families to develop individualized care plans that address specific needs and preferences.

However, it is essential to note that there are only two reasons to perform a procedure – to make someone live longer or better. Therefore, palliative care can complement procedural medicine by focusing on the latter, improving the patient’s quality of life and alleviating suffering.

These providers work closely with doctors, nurses, and social workers to ensure patients receive comprehensive medical care. In addition, they can offer various services, including pain management, symptom relief, and emotional support.

Hospice care is provided in multiple settings, such as the patient’s home, a hospice facility, or a hospital. Although hospice care has been politicized as “death panels,” it is not a death sentence. Hospice is a component of modern medicine that provides support and care to patients and their families during difficult times.

These care providers understand the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of facing a terminal illness.

By working closely with procedural medicine, hospice care can also provide a more comprehensive, patient-centered approach, improving the patient’s quality of life and providing the best possible support.

Reference: MedPage Today (Feb. 21, 2023) “What Jimmy Carter Reminds Us About Dying”