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Purpose of Hospice Explained


Hospice services provide essential care and support to individuals suffering from terminal illnesses. Though it is a natural process, death is frightening and often painful for individuals who are suffering from these diseases.

Each hospice service offered by an organization is intended to reduce suffering and ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible during their final weeks. Hospice services seek to address the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of each patient, and recognize that each patient/family is extremely different from others, and therefore, has special and unique needs.

Hospice services are intended for individuals that have less then a six-month life expectancy. At this stage, a patient will require extensive emotional and medical support. The uncertainty that comes with death may be a source of anxiety and trepidation for dying patients. Hospice services will provide patients with access to counseling and spiritual guidance as well.

Clergymen are readily available for hospice patients, and they are often a source of comfort for the terminally ill, for often in the face of death, individuals attain a state of calm by reaffirming their faith and praying with clergymen. When individuals feel close to their God and strong in their faith, they often feel more comfortable with the thought of passing away. Clergymen work closely with hospice workers in order to amplify this comfort.

Another major concern associated with death is the possibility of pain. Many patients who are suffering from terminal illnesses are afraid that the pain will continue to increase as they become closer to death. Hospice doctors and nurses are trained and educated in the latest and most effective medications. The hospice service provided by medical professionals is intended to successfully diminish pain and ensure that patients remain as relaxed and content as possible.

However, hospice services avoid inducing benumbed and unresponsive behavior due to large doses of pain medication. A hospice service organization seeks to reduce pain while ensuring that the patient remains alert. As long as a patient is comfortable, he/she will not be administered an excessive quantity of medication that may inhibit his/her ability to talk or function. In addition to pain-reducing procedures, the organization also provides patients with access to physical therapists.

To boot, this hospice service allows patients to remain mobile. If a patient exhibits a strong desire to remain self-sufficient, this hospice service will assist him/her in achieving this.

Each hospice service has been developed in order to ensure that dying patients are at peace, and aims to guarantee that patient's dignity is upheld. While clergymen and medical professionals address patients' physical and spiritual needs, therapists and counselors are on hand to address their emotional needs. Counselors are available to assist patients through conventional methods of therapy, as well as massage therapy, music therapy, and art therapy.

While hospice organizations are nationally recognized for their humanitarian efforts, one important and beneficial hospice service that is often overlooked is the emotional and physical assistance that hospice workers provide families. Watching a family member pass away is extremely difficult for any individual, but hospice care provides families with the tools that they need to cope.

NEXT: Quick Overview on Home Hospice

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