When you decide to be cared for by a hospice program, it means that your treatment goals will shift from doing everything possible
to cure your condition to giving you the best quality of life that is possible in the time you have left.
You don't need to be bedridden or in a
hospital to benefit from hospice care. No matter what your physical condition,
hospice services focus on keeping you as comfortable, functional, and alert as
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Your hospice team may include medical
professionals, counselors, therapists, social workers, spiritual advisers, home
health aides, and trained volunteers. Your team can:
advance directive forms and making sure that your wishes about life support and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) are carried out.
Answer questions about palliative treatments, which relieve pain and other symptoms.
Help you with things like
daily activities, bathing, eating, and moving around.
Help you figure out
what is important in terms of putting your legal and financial affairs in
Help you and your family talk to each other and deal with
Give your caregivers a break (respite care). Trained volunteers
may be available to relieve your loved ones for a few hours a week. If your
caregivers need a longer break or must be away to attend a special event, some
hospices provide respite care for several days.
Counseling and support
Counseling and support services that hospice provides can
help you to:
Resolve differences with family and friends or
say important things that may otherwise go unsaid.
Review your life and set goals for the time you have left.
Hospice care also includes helping your family and friends
through their grief after you die. Most programs continue to provide
bereavement services for family and friends, such as support groups and
counseling, for at least a year after a loved one's death.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this