Hospice care is a special type of care that is mainly concerned in comforting patients and issuance of quality life instead of providing curative services to a sick person. Hospice care is in most cases appropriate for someone with a terminal illness and the life of persons is expected to run for six months or less. There are in-patient hospices units are often set up for offering the hospice services. However, when need arises, the hospice administration can offer extensive services to the patients at their homes (Forman, 2003, p. 53).
Hospice care units also offer medical social services. Every patient referred to hospice care is assigned a social worker who assists him or her with the social and emotional needs. Counseling services are also offered where spiritual and pastoral support is given to encourage the patients emotionally (Forman, 2003, p. 58). Bereavement counseling is also offered to the family and caregivers for a whole one year after the patient has passed away. The hospice units finance all the medical services and medications of the patient’s diagnosis and other related symptoms that are alleviated.
Laboratory and other diagnostic studies are offered in relation to any terminal illness to help determine the terminal illness of the patient. Difference between Hospice Care and other Long-term Care Unlike other care-providing facilities such as the nursing home facilities and assisted living facilities, hospice care does not offer a 24 hour care to the patients (Forman, 2003, p. 53). Instead, hospice care only operates for 12 hours and therefore there is need for the family members to take care of their patient or employ caregivers or other nursing home staff (Forman, 2003, p. 4). For a patient to qualify for hospice care, a medical practitioner must give a directive that the patient is having six months or less to live and that medication is helping no more. One main objective of the hospice care is to improve the quality of life. Hospice care today offers the same services just like the Palliative Care (Forman, 2003, p. 55). Hospice care services can be similar to those of other long-term care facilities and also there are distinct differences between the two. Nursing services is one of the services offered in a hospice care unit.
A patient is assigned a nurse who visits him or her 3 days a week. This helps a lot to restore the health of the patient as the patients prepare for a good death with people around them having good communication (Forman, 2003, p. 67). There is also a physician who works hand in hand with the nurse to help restore the health of the individual. The physician checks on the patient regularly to ensure whether the health of the patient is improving or not (Forman, 2003, p. 53). In conclusion, the hospice care units improve the quality of life of many individuals.
It should be well understood that the mission of hospice is to establish life and make people see death as any other natural process. Many have often believed that hospice care is to hasten life, but that is not the case. It is clear that the hospice care is so different from other types of care such as the nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. The difference comes in terms of the services offered. Most of the services in the hospice care are all about medical improvement as a person is nearing death. Also, hospice care does not provide services unless one has been asked by the medical practitioner to seek the hospice services.