What is Hospice Care?

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Hospice care comprises a specialized type of care that focuses on the quality of life of patients who are suffering from advanced and life-containing illnesses. Hospice care helps in providing the compassionate type of care for individuals in the end stages of the disease that has no cure such that they can live their life to a full extent as comfortably as possible. The philosophy around hospice care accepts death as the final stage in life. It causes affirmation of life however, it does not cause hastening or postponement of death. Hospice care provides treatment to a person and focuses on the symptoms of a particular type of disease rather than providing treatment of any disease. A team of various healthcare professionals functions together for the management of symptoms such that any individual’s remaining days are spent with dignity as well as quality while they are surrounded by their near and dear ones. Hospice care is mostly family-centric as it incorporates a patient and their family members in the decision-making process.

When is Hospice care given?

Hospice care is directed for any terminally sick person who is expected to live for about six months or lesser. However, hospice care is provided till the time preferred and certified by an individual's doctor. However, the hospice care team ascertains that the patient’s condition is expected to remain life-threatening.

Most of the people who are qualified for receiving hospice care suffer from cancer whereas other patients may be suffering from any cardiac disease, dementia, renal failure and//or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Enrollment in a hospice care program as early as possible helps you to live a better and live a longer life. Hospice care decreases the burden on one’s family, reduces a family's chances of suffering from any complex grieving and also, helps in preparing a person’s family members for their beloved's death. Hospice care additionally allows the care of a patient at a given facility for a particular period not only due to a reason that a patient requires it but also, because of the reason that family’s caregiver might need some break. This form of hospice care is termed 'respite care.

Who all are involved in Hospice care?

If a person is not receiving hospice care at any dedicated facility, dedicated hospice staff will schedule regular visits to their home or any other similar setting. Hospice staff is on 24 hours call each day for seven days a week.

A hospice care team may typically require assistance from —

a) Doctors: A doctor involved in providing primary care along with any hospice doctor or a medical director oversees patient care. Every patient helps in choosing their dedicated primary doctor who may be a general physician or any hospice doctor;

b) Nurses: Nurses visit the patient’s relative's house or any other setting for providing hospice care. They may also be held responsible for coordinating the entire team involved in hospice care

c) Home health care aides: These healthcare aides provide additional support for routine health care, for example, getting dressed, while taking bath and while eating food

d) Spiritual counseling: Help of priests, lay ministers, Chaplains, or any other spiritual guides may provide spiritual healing and guidance for the entire family

e) Social workers: Social workers help in providing counseling and support along with providing referrals for any other supporting system

f) Pharmacists: They provide oversight on various medications and also, suggestions concerning the most effective methods for relieving symptoms

g) Volunteers: Volunteers who are trained to provide a variety of services that include providing company and respite to caregivers and also help with arranging transportation or any other practical requirements

h) Other professional services: Professionals who cater as speech, occupational and physical therapists may also provide with concerned therapy, if required

i) Counselors dealing with bereavement: Employing trained counselors dealing with bereavement help in offering support as well as guidance following the death of a loved family member in hospice care services.

Benefits of Hospice care

We have discussed all fundamentals of hospice care and what it stands for. Now, there are a few benefits offered by hospice care services: a) A known or Familiarity of Environment: Unlike most of the seniors’ homes or support care groups, hospice care lets one's family members stay in their homes. Whether these individuals lead a life on their terms or with their family members, hospice care is made available to them in an environment that is familiar to them b) Improved treatment facilities: There are so many things that one must be doing for each of our loved ones on a personal basis. Hospice care teams bring required medications and treatments to the required person, thus, providing an equivalent amount of care without any need to visit a hospital or any other health care facility. This is especially useful for individuals having family members requiring an intense amount of personnel care, that may be difficult to be provided by themselves, and c) Counseling in bereavement: Hospice care is required for individuals who are approaching the end of their life. However, although the primary goal of any hospice team is based upon one's beloved family member, they are there for the family when these people pass away. Since it is difficult to cope with grief and it is known that if any patient who is under their care dies it does not mean that their work is finished.

Also, a senior care Service has the experience, compassion, and sufficient training which is necessary for providing comprehensive home health care. Hospice Care in addition might offer a wide variety of home-based care facilities that have been designed to turn life easy for senior subjects along with their families.

How hospice care differs from palliative care?

Both hospice care as well as palliative care aim towards providing a significantly higher quality of life and also, in providing relief from various symptoms and side-effects for individuals with any serious type of illness. Both of these services comprise specialized care teams that can solve any person's physical, mental, emotional, social as well as spiritual requirements. Although hospice care may include palliative care, they are different from each other: Whenever care is provided, Hospice care is offered for patients during the last phases of an incurable illness or towards the end of life, for example, in patients with advanced and metastatic cancer while palliative care may be provided at any stage of critical illness. Hospice care is given whenever there is no active treatment for a critical illness and so-called "Treatment" only involves the management of symptoms along with side effects. Palliative care is offered whenever an active form of treatment is being provided. It may be given at the same time as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immune therapy for treating cancer.

A hospice care team helps in coordinating a major percentage of patient care and also, in communicating with a patient's medical health care team whereas a palliative care team is different from a patient's medical health care team that manages treatment for illness and aids in communication with the medical health care team.

How Centric Healthcare Can Help?

Centric healthcare can help by providing well-trained nursing staff, medical equipment such as Hospital beds, Wheel-chair, Walkers, Oxygen apparatus along with medical supplies like Wound dressing, bedpans, Gloves, and masks.


  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/palliative-care#:~:text=Palliative%20care%20involves%20a%20range,the%20patient%20and%20their%20family.

  2. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/end-of-life-care/hospice-care/what-is-hospice-care.html

  3. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-palliative-care-and-hospice-care

  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/end-of-life/in-depth/hospice-care/art-20048050

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