Help in Hospice
Hospice care is a type and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s pain and symptoms, and attending to emotional and spiritual needs of patients and their families.
The concept of hospice has been evolving since the 11th century. Then, and for centuries thereafter, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded, or dying, as well as for travelers and pilgrims.
Linguistically, the word “hospice” derives from the Latin hospes, a word which served double duty in referring both to guests and hosts.
The modern concept of hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill given in such institutions as hospitals or nursing homes, but also care provided to those who would rather spend their last months and days of life in their own homes. It began to emerge in the 17th century, but many of the foundational principles by which modern hospice services operate were pioneered in the 1950s by Dame Cicely Saunders.
Hospice care also involves assistance for patients’ families to help them cope with what is happening and provide care and support to keep the patient at home.