Comfort, dignity and quality care — that’s what all patients want when faced with illness, and the final stages of life are no exception. Learn more about Renown Hospice Care and how it can help during life’s most difficult time.
We all want the best possible care for ourselves and our loved ones, and this is especially true when it comes to a life-limiting illness. One option for compassionate care in the wake of a terminal illness is hospice care. We asked Kelle Brogan, M.D., with Renown Hospice and Palliative Care to explain what hospice care is.
What is hospice care?
Renown Hospice Care provides compassionate expertise and palliative care to meet the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of patients and families in our community. When medical treatments no longer offer a cure, hospice care offers a special way to care for patients and families who are facing end-of-life considerations.
There is a full range of volunteer, chaplain and social services provided to patients and their families through hospice care. We can also facilitate respite services to allow family caregivers an opportunity for rest.
Our team at Renown Hospice Care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our goal is to keep patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible, while maintaining their dignity and quality of life.
How does hospice care begin?
Typically, hospice care starts as soon as a formal request, or a referral is made by the patient’s doctor. Usually, hospice care is ready to begin within a day or two of the referral. However, in urgent situations, hospice services may begin sooner.
How does hospice care work to keep the patient comfortable?
Many patients may have pain and other serious symptoms as illness progresses. Hospice staff receives special training to care for all types of physical and emotional symptoms that cause pain, discomfort and distress. Because keeping the patient comfortable and pain-free is an important part of hospice care, many hospice programs have developed ways to measure how comfortable the patient is during the course of their stay in hospice. Hospice staff works with the patient’s physician to make sure that medication, therapies and procedures are designed to achieve the goals outlined in the patient’s care plan. The care plan is reviewed frequently to make sure any changes and new goals are in the plan.
How are palliative care and hospice care related?
Palliative care and hospice care have similar philosophies in that they both focus on a patient’s comfort and quality of life. Palliative care is provided to manage symptoms, determine goals of care and assist in advance care planning. Palliative care can be received by patients at any time and at any stage of illness, whether it be life-limiting or not. Hospice care is often chosen by patients when the burden outweighs the benefit of ongoing treatments intended to cure and when the patient is facing a life expectancy of six months or less.