Increase Your Understanding of Hospice
The following information, definitions and indications may help you make more informed decisions about end-of-life and hospice care for yourself or a loved one
Hospice care is a philosophy or approach to care rather than a place. Care may be provided in a home, nursing home, hospital or independent facility devoted to end-of-life care. Hospice care is a specialized form of palliative care including physical, psychological, social and spiritual care provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers during the last six months of life. The goal of hospice care is to relive suffering and improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones.
Medically speaking, palliative means to care or to comfort, as opposed to curing an illness. If you or a loved one has a life-limiting illness, you may receive palliative care early on in the course of the illness to relieve pain and other physical symptoms and to assist in coping with the impact on daily living and family.
The goals of palliative care are:
To relieve suffering and to improve quality of life by preventing or treating the symptoms of the disease, as well as any side effects of treatment, as soon as possible. To address psychological, social and spiritual issues related to the disease or treatment. To help those with a life-limiting illness feel peaceful, secure and comfortable.
A life-limiting illness is defined as a condition where premature death is usual; an illness that limits normal life expectancy, such as advanced or progressive cancer, heart or lung disease, AIDS, dementia or major organ failure, among others.
End-of-life care is typically defined as physical, psychological, social and/or spiritual care provided during the last months of life, during which a disability or disease becomes progressively worse, resulting in death.
Holistic care focuses on the whole person, not just the disease. With our holistic approach to care, we concentrate on your needs as you face a life-limiting illness, as well as your entire family. The hospice team attends to your practical concerns—such as insurance coverage, transportation and assistance with bathing—in addition to your emotional and spiritual needs, including caregiver stress, grief and fear of dying. Holistic care is provided by our interdisciplinary team including the physician, psychologist, nurse, social worker, chaplain, pharmacist, nursing assistant, nutritionist, physical therapist and volunteers. Hospice Partners of Kansas also offers various therapies to treat the whole person and meet the physical and emotional needs of all our patients and families.
Indications when to consider hospice care
- When active treatment isn't progressing.
- When family and caregivers need support.
- When there is a 20 lb weight loss.
- When you or your loved one no longer has the desire to eat.
- When a nursing home resident becomes more dependent in the activities of daily living such as dressing, feeding and bathing and/or experiences continual weight loss.
- When pain, breathlessness, nausea or other symptoms are present.
Hospice care is available to individuals with any life-limiting illness, including:
- Heart and lung diseases
- Neurological diseases
- Liver disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Alzheimer's disease
Though many people assume hospice care is solely for people with cancer, the reality is that less than 50% of Hospice Partners of Kansas’s patients have a cancer diagnosis.
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6:00pm - 7:00pm except holidays
3rd Thursday of each month
3:00pm - 4:00pm except holidays
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