Hospice is Not Giving Up. Hospice is Full of Hope

Support for the Patient & Family

There is a common misconception that choosing hospice means giving up hope. The facts about hospice, however, prove otherwise. Diminishing hope? Hardly. Given the time, hospice actually relieves suffering, promotes dignity and facilitates closure for patients and families. Those are the benefits of hospice care.

A woman using a wheelchair sits next to and smiles at her daughter, who is seated on a park bench

The hospice team is specially trained in end-of-life care, which can be provided anywhere the patient calls home, whether that’s assisted living, a nursing home or a private residence. Hospice care can also be provided in hospitals and facilities that cater exclusively to hospice patients.

In addition to pain and symptom management, hospice care benefits include a variety of support services for patients and their families: education, emotional and spiritual support, help with financial issues, help with the patient’s personal care and hygiene, and respite care to give a family caregiver a break of up to five days.

Hospice is Full of Hope

Some hospice patients experience an improvement in their health, often a result of the solicitous care and benefits of hospice care; some even choose to revoke their Medicare hospice benefit for a while.

But even when the disease continues to progress as expected, studies show that terminally ill patients who receive hospice care can live longer than similar patients who don’t receive hospice.

Hospice patients gain a sense of relief and control. Regular visits from their nurse and hospice aide get pain and other symptoms under control and prevent emergency hospital visits. Being at home, surrounded by family and friends, can improve quality of life. Chats with the team social worker or chaplain address emotional pain. Slowly, a hospice patient—and their family—begin looking forward to tomorrow.

The benefits of hospice care empower patients and their caregivers. Patients can control how they live out their final months; caregivers can benefit from physical and emotional support while spending quality time with their loved ones.

Call VITAS to learn more about hospice and palliative care options.