Hospice is a concept of care that focuses on comfort rather than cure. It’s a model of care built around managing physical symptoms, such as pain, anxiety, and shortness of breath, as well as supporting a patient and their loved ones emotionally, socially and spiritually.
Hospice care is really designed to provide care in the patient’s own home setting. This may be the patient’s house, the house of a loved one who is caring for the patient, or a long-term care or nursing facility. Staying at home is what most dying patients prefer and hospice can offer the support to patients, their families, and their caregivers to help that become a reality.
Inpatient hospice facilities are designed to provide care to patients who need more skilled care more often than family or other caregivers can provide at home. Ideally, these facilities staff nurses and home health aides who are skilled in providing end-of-life care and have a medical director who specializes in palliative care.