I heard you can continue to pursue treatment options and participate in hospice at the same time. It was suggested that hospice has a lot to offer families prior to the patient being "on their death bed". Can you shed some light on this?
Posted: 06 Feb 2013 08:29 PM Originally Posted: 06 Feb 2013 08:28 PM
Many people are confused by hospice. Years ago, it was a word that brought up doom and gloom. Sometimes people said that the hospice team brought death. Things have come a long way since then. Today, hospice is about quality of life and fullness of life. A person is eligible for hospice care at the point at which the physician and the patient decide that there will be no more aggressive or curative treatment. Usually, this is because the medications, surgeries or radiation are no longer effective and will not produce a cure. Sometimes, the treatments can become more harmful than beneficial. For others, they have a chronic and debilitating condition which will not get better but can be managed. At this time, one can transition to a new type of treatment with hospice. This new treatment is focused on maximizing one’s health, enriching daily living and putting quality of life as the priority. The care can be provided in the home or in a residential setting. Hospice treatment involves symptom management, pain control and the attentive care of a talented team. It becomes a time when people choose how they want to live the remaining stretch of life. For some, it is going fishing or planning a garden. For others, it may be a cruise, family celebration or learning a new card game. Patients and families are supported through the journey physically, emotionally and spiritually. If one decides hospice is not for them, one can always stop and go back to the doctor to discuss further aggressive cancer treatment.