Hospice care

What Is Hospice Care?

To understand hospice care, one has to understand palliative care too. Both of these approaches are towards taking care of people with serious illness.

When we deal with illness, there are two options in front of us. Either we fight it or we give up the fight. In both the situation the choice is of the individual. Sometimes the illness is so strong that it can be overwhelming. Alleviating the pain and living in peace outweighs the fighting and winning over the illness. There is a caring and supporting service for both these situations. And this is where palliative care and hospice care comes in.

Palliative care is a type of medical care given to people with life-threatening illness. In this the person is administered medical care of reliving the symptoms as well as the treatment for curing it. The focus is more on the quality of life rather than the drudgery of fighting the illness.

There is a certain criterion for the eligibility of the care. As mentioned already, people with serious illness such as cancer are eligible for such care. People can avail this care at any stage of their illness.


The palliative care team involves professionals (specialist doctors and nurses) and family members who provide all the necessary support whether its social or emotional to the patient. The palliative care can be given anywhere; it can be given in hospitals, special centers and even at home depending upon the choice of the patient and their resources.

If the conditions are getting worse or say that the patient is no longer responding to the treatment, he or she is moved to hospice care.

Hospice care is given to those patients who have no hope left. People who have only months in their life. In hospice care, treatment to alleviate the pain is given but not treatment for curing the disease. Hospice care is ideal for those people who wish to die in peace, in the comfort of their bed and quality of life.

Only people diagnosed with an end-of-life situation can avail the care. The hospice care team involves professionals and family members. The specialist doctors train and teach the family members the way to deal with the patient as the caring is strictly of suppressing the painful symptoms. The hospice care can be given at hospitals or at home.

In short, palliative care is for those patients of terminal illness who have a chance at defeating and overcoming the disease. In palliative care, the patients are given medical treatment for treating the pains and symptoms as well as curing the disease. Patients are moved to hospice care when the doctors are fully sure that the patient’s body is unable to respond to the treatment and he or she has some months to live. Patients in the hospice care are treated for the pain associated with the illness but at attempts at curing the disease is slowed or entirely stopped. In both cases, the focus is on the quality of life near the end of life.

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