What are some facts about hospice care?

Hospice care provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease, including cancer, so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.

The goal of hospice is to enable patients to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice care treats the person rather than the disease; it focuses on quality rather than length of life.

Even though more hospice care is more often done in home, it can also be provided at in-patient facilities.

In-home hospice care offers the patient more privacy and control and data shows it can be less costly. This type of hospice care will allow the patient to bathe, eat, enjoy pets, family and have visitors when they would like.

In-patient hospice care can offer more specialized and trained nursing staff to help the patient with round-the-clock care. This type of hospice care is used to help treat with pain and other symptoms that cannot be treated with in-home hospice care.

If the patient gets better while under hospice care, he can be taken out of the hospice program and return at a later time, if needed. Hospice brings hope for a quality life, making the best of each day during the last stages of advanced illness. There are many different services provided during hospice care, depending on which program is chosen.

For more information contact Courtney Britton, librarian at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge at (225) 927-2273, cbritton@cancerservices.org , or visit the Education Center at 550 Lobdell Ave., Baton Rouge.

ä Internet Resources:

Factsheet: Hospice – National Cancer Institute

cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Support/hospice

End of Life – Mayo Clinic

mayoclinic.com/health/cancer/CA00048

The Hospice Foundation of America

hospicefoundation.org

This column is presented as a service by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, a United Way affiliate.