When it becomes impossible for the disease to be treated and the only option left is death, a person may look into receiving hospice care.
Hospice care is different from ordinary hospital care in that it aims to reduce the pain and suffering of a patient and maximize the person's enjoyment of each day that is left.
In its early days, hospice was a concept that was rooted in the ideal of offering a place of shelter and rest, or "hospitality", to travelers that were on a long journey.
In 1967, St.
Christopher's Hospital in London expanded the idea to a special type of care for dying patients.
Since its original use in London, "hospice" care has expanded globally.
The practice provides humane and compassionate care for individuals who are in the grips of the last phases of incurable diseases.
The humane and compassionate care is designed to allow these individuals to live as fully and comfortably as possible.
Unlike chemotherapy or radiation or surgery, hospice is a philosophy of care and not a form of treatment or procedures.
The philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life.
Its goal is to give patients approaching death an alert, pain-free life.
Rather than treating symptoms, hospice care is designed to manage the symptoms and to reduce their negative effects.
The entire philosophy intertwines with the idea that people should be allowed to die with dignity.
While many doctors and treatment plans focus on extending life, hospice care focuses on improving the quality of life.
It has a firm belief in quality over quantity.
The philosophy provides for family-centered care and allows the patient and family to make decisions.
Care is provided to both the patient and family on a round-the-clock basis.
Unlike many treatments, hospice care can be conducted in a patient's own home.
It is also usually available in hospitals, nursing homes, and even private hospice facilities.
In the United States, the majority of hospice care is given in the home and family members serve as the main hands-on caregivers.
Not everyone diagnosed with cancer or some other disease is fit for hospice care.
Hospice care is suitable when a person no longer benefits from treatment and is expected to live six months or less.
If you have been diagnosed with an incurable or terminal disease and would like more information on hospice care, please visit http://www.