Featured Video: Hospice/Palliative/Advanced Planning Care

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO.org) · Hospice Action Network · New Jersey Palliative Care · National Hospice Fdn. · Hospice Of New Jersey

Hospice Care focuses on quality of life. When a cure is no longer possible, hospice care is designed to treat the whole person, and not just the disease. Hospice provides person- and family-centered care provided by an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals who work with the patient and family to design and implement a plan of care unique to the patient’s diagnosis. The patient’s wishes are always a priority. In addition, hospice provides all medications, services, and equipment related to the terminal illness.

Although some hospice care is provided in hospitals, in-patient hospice facilities or nursing homes, the vast majority of patients are cared for in the place they call home. Hospice care does not end with the patient’s death; it continues with up to 13 months of bereavement counseling for the family and loved ones.

Sometimes referred to as “comfort care,” Palliative Care is a specialized approach to the treatment of patients with a serious or life-threatening illness. The goal of palliative care is to provide relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of serious illness. It is also designed to improve the quality of life of both the patient and the patient’s family.

Palliative care is provided by a team of specialists who are trained in assisting patients and their families through what can be the most difficult time in their lives. Members of the team typically include physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and spiritual care coordinators. Some palliative care teams have physical and speech therapists, pharmacists, dieticians and trained volunteers.

Advance (End-Of-Life) Planning Care care is making decisions about the healthcare you would want to receive if you’re facing a medical crisis. These are your decisions to make based on your personal values, preferences, and discussions with your loved ones.

Advance care planning includes:
– Getting information on the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available.
– Deciding what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
– Sharing your personal values with your loved ones.
– Completing advance directives and other documentation to put into writing what types of treatment you would or would not want – and who you chose to speak for you – should you be unable to speak for yourself.

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