This November, we would like to highlight hospice and palliative care. Hospice and palliative care play important roles in cancer care, but are unfortunately often underutilized. If used to their full advantage, they can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life of patients and caregivers.
According to recent statistics from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), more than half of the total number of patients who are cared for annually by hospice services are cancer patients.
What Does Hospice and Palliative Care Entail?
- Nursing care
- Social services
- Physician services
- Spiritual support and counseling
- Home health aides and homemaker services
- Trained volunteer support
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapies
- Respite care
- Inpatient care
- Bereavement support
Possible Benefits of Hospice and Palliative Care:
- Improve quality of life
- Alleviate symptoms from treatments
- Reduce emotional stress
- Improve mood
- Manage pain
- Prolong patient’s survival
- Help patients feel less burdened to their caregivers
The need for hospice and palliative care is dependent on the individual. It isn’t time for hospice or palliative care if you are currently benefiting from your treatments. But it can be beneficial for terminally ill patients to consider them when treatments are no longer working and they have decided to stop receiving treatments for their disease.
When choosing a hospice, there are many factors that should be taken into consideration. NHCPO has developed some questions to help you choose the quality hospice that is right for each patient. To read the questions, click here.
For additional information, read our previous blog on hospice and palliative care or go to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization or Hospice Foundation of America.