What Is Hospice Care? When Is It Needed?
While the end of life can be frightening, not only for the person whose time is nearing its end but also for their loved ones, it doesn’t have to be as traumatic as many fear. Hospice care is a powerful way to face one’s final days in dignity and comfort. In this article, we’ll discuss why people need hospice care and how Solterra can provide it.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is the medical specialty of providing comforting care to a patient who is nearing the end of their life, usually due to something like a terminal illness. It has significant overlap with the field of palliative care, also called comfort care, which is about providing comfort to patients who are battling a serious illness or other conditions. However, palliative care is not necessarily always for conditions that are life-threatening.
To put it in other terms, all hospice care is palliative care, but not all palliative care is hospice care. But what does “comfort care” mean, exactly?
Comfort care, whether in palliative or hospice forms, involves easing the stress on an individual by mitigating their symptoms, even if it doesn’t—or cannot—cure the underlying condition. For instance, hospice care and palliative care might give patients medicine to numb any pain, help ensure airways are free so that there is less difficulty breathing, or aid patients in regularly using the bathroom and remaining clean.
The physical nature of hospice care is only half of it, however. Much of hospice care is about ensuring the patient’s mental health and comfort. To that end, hospice care delivered by experienced, capable providers such as Solterra ensures that patients are in familiar, comforting environments—rather than the cold, sterile, often frightening setting of a hospital.
In hospice care, unlike in a hospital, family and friends can (and are encouraged to) visit frequently so that the patient can enjoy being surrounded by their loved ones.
Ultimately, hospice care is about recognizing that none of us get through life alive. Life, it is said, has no survivors, and hospice care is the field of ensuring that up until the very end, the experience is both comfortable and comforting.
Who Needs Hospice Care?
Hospice care should be thought of as proper end-of-life care, which means it is almost always reserved for patients who have an imminent terminal diagnosis. When a doctor or doctors have concluded that no more treatment will be effective, the patient and their family can choose to move from medical care, such as a hospital, into hospice care. While some patients may naturally and miraculously beat the odds and make a recovery, most do not. Until then, the patient will be cared for until their passing.
If you’re looking for experienced, high-quality hospice care for one of your loved ones, look no further than Solterra White Mountains. As an expert provider of hospice care, Solterra can make your loved one’s final days comfortable, dignified, and as minimally traumatic as possible.