Hospice is not a place but a ‘philosophy of care’ for people facing a life-limiting illness. It addresses a patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, and also helps support those who love them.
A common misconception about hospice is that it is ‘a last resort’ and that a person must be bedridden or unable to communicate in order to receive help. On the contrary, seeking hospice and palliative care (pain and symptom relief) isn’t about giving up or hastening death. Rather, it is a way to get the most appropriate care in the last phase of life. Enrolling for hospice care early might help you or your loved one develop a strong relationship with the hospice staff, who can help with preparation for end-of-life needs.
While hope for a full recovery may be gone, there is still hope for as much quality time as possible to spend with loved ones, as well as hope for a dignified, pain-free death.
Hospice cares for the dying because they are still living.
Fact: Research published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that terminally-ill patients who received hospice care lived, on average, 29 days longer than those who did not opt for hospice near the end of life. Source: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Hospices are the only facilities in South Africa providing palliative care as defined by the World Health Organisation.