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Understanding Hospice Care: The Needs, Preparations and the In-Betweens

by Tim

For many of us, our home is a place for safety and respite against the busy world. And when we’re closer to our final days, we cling to our family for comfort. Hospice care allows patients to cherish their final days as much as possible, making them as comfortable, happy, and stress-free as possible.

In this article, we will cover the intricacies of Hospice care, what it means, the preparations, and what you need to know as a caregiver. Whether you have someone in Hospice or not, read more below on how you can impact someone’s last stretches of their lives.

Hospice Care: Overview

Hospice care is a form of supportive care where the idea is to give terminally ill patients a dignified death. A dignified death refers to someone dying in complete control and avoiding as much suffering as possible.

Fortunately, hospice care is often provided by many companies and supported by Medicare. Those who want to see who qualifies as a caregiver under medicare rules only need a close relative or friend who can provide essential services, especially in daily activities.

However, specific programs and seminars are needed for those wanting a license. If you’re a family member who wants to bring the best time to the patient, being willing enough to act as a caregiver is often enough.

The Purpose of Hospice Care

Hospice care is meant to help patients live as comfortably and happily as possible by maintaining quality of life through a robust support system and addressing their needs. This allows patients to focus on what’s important and have something to look forward to.

Hospice is a holistic practice that addresses the patient’s medical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs. The hospice care plan often revolves around what matters the most to the patient and how to bring comfort until their passing. Understand that hospice care often transcends beyond specialized care to something that families can commit as caregivers.

Hospice care is all about the patient and ensuring they get the most comfort and happiness possible.

Preparing for Hospice Care

While there are facilities and dedicated places for hospice care, the best place to put your loved ones is in their homes. Regarding home hospice, it is vital to have a clear plan for setting up a good routine. As such, the first step is to work with a hospice care provider for their services.

Don’t forget to ask as many questions as you have with these providers; it helps to know everything to ensure no problems arise during this sensitive period. For starters, you may ask about the staff’s availability, their contact numbers, and protocols in case of emergencies.

Another aspect of hospice care is their equipment. Not all patients have this, but sometimes, they bring in a lot of life-preserving equipment from hospitals. Most home hospice care plans are ensuring the patient and caretaker’s needs are met.

Before setting out to transfer the patient from the hospital to the Hospice, ensure all equipment is accounted for and already has a set location to place once they arrive. Consider different equipment like wheelchairs, accessibility items, oxygen, and/or the hospital bed itself.

What Hospice Is, And Isn’t

On the topic of Hospice, it is vital that we also differentiate palliative and hospice care. While they can be similar in their service, their goal differs.

As mentioned, Hospice and Palliative care is about providing a quality end-of-life experience. But while Hospice is all about managing symptoms and making life as comfortable as possible, palliative care is given at any point and primarily applied to control conditions.

That said, there is a big difference between caring and curing. In some cases, Hospice can even perform palliative care. But against a terminally ill patient, their form of palliative care becomes a part of making patients comfortable.

A Reminder

Keep in mind that hospice care plans often involve short-term plans for patients nearing the end of life. While there are professionals in this field, the primary caregivers still bear the most responsibility. That said, your well-being is also essential. So don’t forget to create a plan or schedule for breaks and vacations.

If being a full-time caregiver poses a challenge to your life, there are alternatives. Most companies linked to hospice care can offer full-time caregivers to address your loved one’s needs. However, the experience is still different when a family member takes care of you.

Overall, you don’t need to commit full-time to hospice care, but dropping by from time to time is more than enough to keep your loved one happy and comfortable.


Hospice care is best when applied holistically to patients nearing their lives. Regardless of age and medical condition, hearing that you’re terminally ill while the disease eats you further is depressing. That is why hospice care is about family and togetherness, where caregivers ensure patients pass on with dignity.

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