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What is Hospice Care?

Hospice home care service is designed to help reduce both the physical pain of patients and the emotional suffering of patients, and their families, through the final stages of life. Contrary to what many people think, hospice is not a physical place. We come to you. Hospice services are provided in your home setting, whether that is a private residence, an assisted living or long-term care facility, or nursing home.

At the heart of hospice is the belief that every person has the right to die pain free, with dignity, and that families also need care and support at this difficult time. With hospice services, the emphasis is on preventing pain and otherwise keeping the patient comfortable rather than making any efforts to cure the disease. Hospice care focuses on managing pain and discomfort, while striving to keep patients mentally alert so that they are able to enjoy time with their friends and family, as well as making important decisions that may remain. Family Comfort Hospice will carefully balance the intended effects of medication(s) with potential side effects to arrive at the best plan of care for each individual patient.

Hospice is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are nurses on call at all times who will do everything they can to assist you. Hospice care professionals are licensed practitioners who are specially trained in caring for people in the final stages of their lives, and have chosen hospice as their area of specialization.

Family Comfort Hospice believes that family is an integral part of caring for a loved one near the end of life. We pride ourselves on helping the entire family have a peaceful experience throughout this final stage of life. Our team of home care professionals will keep the patient and family informed, as much as they desire, of the stages and milestones of this very personal journey.

Hospice care recognizes the psychological and spiritual needs of the terminally ill and their families. Counselors are available to help patient and family members get through this challenging time. Hospice workers can help you work through your feelings, whether you are the one who is dying or a family member. Family Comfort Hospice will respectfully do everything possible, to help the patient and family fulfill any spiritual requests which, of course, will vary greatly depending upon the patient. Counseling services are also available to surviving family members for over a year after the death of a loved one.

Many insurance policies recognize the importance of hospice care and will fully pay for its services, but it’s important to check for yourself your policy’s regulations before committing to hospice care.

You may want to discuss hospice care with your physician if any or all of the following are present in your loved one:

• Progressive declining health, despite treatment
• Increased or uncontrollable pain
• Frequent hospitalizations
• Repeat or multiple infections
• Progressive or profound weakness and fatigue
• Shortness of breath with or without oxygen
• Decreased ability to perform regular activities of daily living
• Alterations in mental status
• Exhausted patient and family or caregivers
• The desire of the patient and family to stop aggressive treatments

If you are still seeking curative treatment for your illness, please visit our sister organization, Family Comfort Palliative Care, which provides Palliative care services.

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