A hospice is a facility in which the staff provides care for someone with a terminal illness. People receiving such care often have less than six months to live. There are different kinds of hospice facilities that accommodate patients based on the severity of their condition and where they want to stay. Hospice care can be provided at home, at residential-based facilities, in a hospital, or a place specifically set up to care for patients with such needs.
There are some hospitals that have a set of services for hospice care, and others that might have a section of the building devoted to it. The benefits of hospice facilities in a large medical building often include easier access to treatments for illnesses. While end of life care is typically the goal, some inpatients may want to seek medical treatments to manage pain or other discomfort.
Hospice facilities for long-term care generally employ a staff of physicians and attendants. Some facilities hire aids that can help a person with his or her basic needs, such as bathing, dressing, as well as preparing meals. Physical therapy can also be provided, along with services to provide the family with emotional support and help with day-to-day routines. Additional support is sometimes provided by volunteers, who can offer companionship or car rides to and from the facility.
Long-term care facilities are often chosen, but some hospice facilities are independent of other healthcare centers. Medical and home care can be provided, especially when the patient’s condition cannot be treated at home. While some people with incurable diseases choose to live in a hospice, others can receive home care. These services are often provided for by professional caregivers, and the cost of this type of healthcare can be paid for by regional agencies. The service typically has to be certified and an insurance company must often approve of the coverage first.
Levels of care received at hospice facilities depend on the patient's well being. Some people with a terminal illness require intermittent help, while others may need continuous care. A medical condition may necessitate more care at certain times than others, so the levels of assistance can be adjusted accordingly. Physicians and nurses can periodically evaluate the condition of a hospice patient to determine what his or her needs are at the time.