Hospice Care, also commonly known amongst health professionals as “palliative care” is the approach that improves the quality of life for patients and their families facing terminal or life threatening illness. It is done through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other problems whether physical, spiritual or psychological. This care will enable the patient to live their life to the full - right to the end.
· provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
· affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
· intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
· integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
· offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
· offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;
· uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
· will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
· is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.
(World Heath Organisation 2002)
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