Hospice care provides patients with needed medical services, emotional support and spiritual resources during the last stages of incurable illness, according to WebMD. Hospice care also assists family members in caring for a loved one in the final stages of an illness.
Some of the services provided in hospice care include pain and symptom control, medical supplies and equipment, and access to support at all times, states WebMD. Volunteers may also help run errands or prepare meals. Guidance for end-of-life issues and counseling for the hospice patient is also available. Family members are offered counseling and support, along with respite or a break if needed. Hospice focuses on comfort and improving a person's quality of life.
Most often, hospice care takes place in a person's home, according to WebMD. A hospice care team normally consists of a doctor, nurses, social workers, spiritual advisers and nursing assistants. A person who specializes in medicine and trained volunteers are generally also part of a person's hospice care team. Some hospice care teams include respiratory therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and pharmacists. Occupational, music and physical therapists may also be a part of some hospice care teams. Normally, a person is eligible for hospice when they have six months or less to live and have a terminal illness.