Here are a few basic facts about Hospice patients and the people who care for them.
Hospice patients typically are in their last six months of life.
Approximately 2/3 of hospice patients are over the age of 65.
While many hospice patients are diagnosed with cancer, hospice services are also available to patients with pulmonary disease, heart disease, neurological disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, and AIDS.
Patients and families who choose hospice are the core of the hospice team and are at the center of all decision making.
A multi-disciplinary team supports the patient and the family. This team consists of physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, spiritual caregivers, counselors, therapists and volunteers.
A primary caregiver may be a life partner, relative, or friend. They are trained to work closely with staff to help with feeding, bathing, turning, administering medications, and monitoring changes in a patient's condition.
Hospice staff is specially trained to provide medical assistance and to deal with the loneliness and fears experienced by both the patient and his or her loved ones.
The hospice team works with the patient and his or her family to develop a personalized care plan. Hospice staff respect patient wishes and help foster communication amongst family members.
Hospice staff is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Hospice staff offers bereavement services to families after their loved one has died.
Trained volunteers are an integral part of hospice service. Over 400,000 people volunteer for hospice annually. Volunteers provide over 5 million hours of care and service annually.