When a person is terminally ill, hospice has a purpose to comfort and ease the families and patients into the transition of death. Families of terminal patients and dying patients are generally more at ease while receiving hospice care in their final days.
Hospice care is typically provided when the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less. The lead researcher, Dr. Alexi Wright, stated that “in contrast to home or hospice care, which emphasizes alleviating pain and discomfort and providing a peaceful death, ICU care can be traumatic for patients, their families, and caregivers.”
Hospice also benefits caregivers of the terminally ill, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It discovered that caregivers of cancer patients who died in hospital intensive care units were five times more likely than others to be diagnosed with PTSD.
Hospice care provides medical equipment as well as other supplies as needed and is staffed by trained professionals such as specially trained nurses, social workers, and physicians. Hospice services vary depending on the needs of the family and the patient.
Hospice care is one of several issues that a terminal cancer patient must address as the end draws near, along with legacy issues such as wills and life insurance policies.