TERMS TO KNOW
Hospice - Hospice is end-of-life care provided by a dedicated team of health care professionals and volunteers. They are able to provide medical, psycho-social and spiritual support. The goal of hospice care is to assist people nearing the end of life experience peace, comfort and dignity.
Hospice caregivers strive to control pain and assist the patient to remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice programs also provide services to support a patient's family.
Customarily, a hospice patient has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and a life expectancy of 6 months or less.
Early referral to Hospice can often greatly improve the quality of life in the time remaining for the patient.
Hospice care services can take place:
- At home
- At an assisted living facility
- At a skilled nursing facility
- At a hospice center
- In a hospital
Advanced Directives - legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end of life care ahead of time. They provide a way for you to communicate your wishes to family, friends and health care professionals, and to avoid confusion later on.
Living Will - A living will tells others how you feel about care intended to sustain life.
Patient Rights - You can accept or refuse medical care. There are many issues to address, including:
- The use of dialysis and breathing machines
- If you want to be resuscitated if breathing or heartbeat stops
- Tube feeding
- Organ or tissue donation
All definitions from Medline Plus