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Hospice End of Life Palliative Care






Hospice care is end-of-life care. A team of health care professionals and volunteers provides it. They give medical, psychological, and spiritual support. The goal of the care is to help people who are dying have peace, comfort, and dignity. The caregivers try to control pain and other symptoms so a person can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice programs also provide services to support a patient’s family.

Usually, a hospice patient is expected to live 6 months or less. Hospice care can take place

  • At home
  • At a hospice center
  • In a hospital
  • In a skilled nursing facility
  • In a adult family care home

Planning for the end of life can be difficult. But by deciding what end-of-life care best suits your needs when you are healthy, you can help those close to you make the right choices when the time comes.

End-of-life planning usually includes making choices about the following:

  • The goals of care (for example, whether to use certain medicines during the last days of life)
  • Where you want to spend your final days
  • Which treatments for end-of-life care you wish to receive
  • What type of palliative care and hospice care you wish to receive

Advance directives can help make your wishes clear to your family and health care providers.

Advance Directives

What kind of medical care would you want if you were too ill or hurt to express your wishes? Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.

A living will tells which treatments you want if you are dying or permanently unconscious. You can accept or refuse medical care. You might want to include instructions on

  • The use of dialysis and breathing machines
  • If you want to be resuscitated if your breathing or heartbeat stops
  • Tube feeding
  • Organ or tissue donation

A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that names your health care proxy. Your proxy is someone you trust to make health decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

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