Hospice care is a type of medical care reserved for patients in their last months of life. Typically, it becomes an option when the patient has been diagnosed with a terminal disease or condition that will lead to the end of life in six months or less. Rather than attempting to cure the condition, hospice care focuses on alleviating symptoms and making the patient as comfortable as possible.
A patient may receive hospice care in their home, an outpatient hospice setting, in a hospital, or in a specialized hospice facility. The choice comes down to individual preference and the severity of the patient’s condition. The goal is to ease the end of life and provide the patient a loving, supportive environment, encouraging visits from family and friends.
Hospice care and palliative care are similar, but not the same. There are two ways to approach an illness:
Curative treatments attempt to eliminate the source of the illness or condition. For example, chemotherapy targets and eliminates cancer cells, hopefully removing the source of the patient’s illness.
Palliative care does not attempt to eliminate the source of the illness. Instead, it focuses on managing symptoms and making the patient comfortable. This may be because the condition is terminal, has no cure, or has a chance of resolving itself on its own. For example, pain medication is a type of palliative care, since it addresses a symptom and not the cause of a disease.
Palliative care is often a part of hospice care. However, hospice care refers specifically to caring for patients near death. By itself, palliative care does not necessarily mean a condition is terminal. A patient may receive palliative care and also continue with aggressive curative treatments.
Hospice care may include some of the following treatments:
Hospice care is highly customized to the needs of each patient. If you or a loved one is in need of hospice care in the Los Angeles area, don’t hesitate to reach out to La Bella Vita Hospice.
La Bella Vita Hospice, Inc. provides home hospice care for patients in Los Angeles, Ventura County, Antelope Valley, and the San Fernando Valley. © Copyright 2019 - All Rights Reserved.
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