Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing an end-of-life illness or injury, hospice care involves a team-oriented, holistic approach. Expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support are expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. At the center of hospice and palliative care is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow this to occur.
Patients with terminal diagnoses of six months or less and who wish to maintain quality of life are ready for hospice care. The patient, with the consent of the primary care physician, chooses hospice. Our professional staff helps each patent and family find the best place for care, whether that is in a private home, nursing home or other facility, or one of our hospice houses.
Entering hospice care is not giving up – it is an opportunity for patients to truly live the last months of their lives. Neither hospice nor palliative care are designed to be started as emergency support. The intention for both is to allow patients and their loved ones time to plan the last phase of their life, with a team providing the physical, emotional, and spiritual care needed to ease his or her transition.
Our hospice professionals work closely with patients’ physicians and family members to develop a comprehensive, personalized plan of care that meets each patient’s individual needs.
Our interdisciplinary hospice teams may include:
- The patient’s personal physician
- Hospice physician/nurse practitioner
- Hospice nurses
- Social workers
- Home health aides
- Spiritual counselor
- Bereavement counselor
- Trained volunteers
- Dietician, as needed
- Speech, Physical or Occupational Therapists, as needed
Hospice team members make regular visits to assess the patient’s needs and provide additional care or other services. Mission Hospice & Home Care staff is available to answer calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The hospice team manages the patient’s pain and symptoms, assists the patient and family with the emotional and spiritual aspects of dying, and provides needed medicines, medical supplies, and equipment.
The team may also:
- Coach the family on how to care for the patient
- Provide special services like speech or physical therapy
- Make short-term inpatient care available when pain or symptoms become too difficult to manage at home, or the caregiver needs respite
- Refer additional community resources such as in-home support / attendant care
- Provide bereavement care and counseling to family and friends
Learn more about common myths about hospice care.