The goal of home health and hospice care is the same-providing the best comprehensive care for the needs of the patient. The difference between home health care and hospice care is the focus of that care.
Home health care is focused on curing the patient’s condition. All treatments are oriented toward healing the patient. Treatments include medication therapy, radiation, surgery, experimental care and treatment outside accepted medical practice. Once it becomes clear that cure-oriented treatment will no longer benefit the patient, transition to hospice care will address the patient’s and family’s needs more appropriately. If the disease runs its normal course, life expectancy is six months or less. Hospice care is focused on helping patients comfortably transition through their end-of-life experience.
The Hospice Medical Director and the interdisciplinary team use the latest methods in pain and uncomfortable symptom control to allow a patient to live life as fully as possible. A comprehensive assessment is completed to develop the hospice interdisciplinary care plan. The care addresses medical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs.
Hospice is a caring, sensitive approach to meeting the needs of the patients. Under the Hospice philosophy, the last days are spent with dignity at home, if possible, or in a setting where care is provided appropriately. The patient retains control over their lives with the support of Hospice. The patient and the Hospice team address problems together and the Hospice team supports the patients in their choices. Care and support is also provided to the loved ones of the dying patient. This care and support is provided after the death of the patient, assisting caregivers and families in the grief process.
Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. Each death is an individual experience and the Hospice Team is there to provide needed support.