Why is Hospice Needed and When to Start Considering Hospice

Hospice differs from regular medical care in that the focus is on finding a way to achieve as good a quality of life as possible while handling one or more illnesses. Physicians' objectives are to cure the patient. Hospice provides trained assistance in talking with the patient about the end of life and providing comfort and care in the patient's final days. Pain management is a critical component of hospice care. Medical doctors typically do not have training in the area of palliative care. Palliative care is defined as (on webmd.com), "a kind of care for people who have serious illnesses. It is different from care to cure your illness, called curative treatment. Palliative care focuses on improving your quality of life-not just in your body, but also in your mind and spirit. Sometimes palliative care is combined with curative treatment."

The American Cancer Society says on its website that oftentimes, hospice care is not started soon enough. You should start thinking about hospice care as soon as you are diagnosed with a possibly fatal disease. Start a conversation with your doctor about what will happen if the treatments do not work. Patients sometimes put off thinking about hospice because they think it means there is no more hope.  According to hospice experts, many people leave hospice. If needed, patients can be re-admitted.