Hospice care providers offer services that center around end-of-life care. These services often include making patients comfortable during the final stages of life. Typical hospice services include nursing care, home health care, pain management, counseling services, and physical, occupational or speech therapy.
Hospice care is designed to allow patients to spend their last days in their home instead of in a hospital. In most cases, hospice care is not ordered until a patient's life expectancy is six months to a year. When a patient is placed in hospice care, the first step in the process is an evaluation of needs. The hospice provider then creates a care plan based on the patient's needs. Hospice workers make regular visits to the home to assess the patient's current situation, and staff is on call around the clock to provide assistance.
Patients receiving hospice care may also receive palliative care. Palliative care focuses on relieving and managing symptoms associated with health conditions or caused. It can include providing relief for pain and for the emotional stress caused by physical health conditions and symptoms. Palliative care is generally used when treatment methods that are designed to cure certain health conditions are no longer feasible.