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    Hospice care

    Palliative care; End-of-life care

    Hospice care helps people with illnesses that can't be cured and who are nearing death. The goal is to give comfort and peace instead of cure. Hospice care provides relief from pain and symptoms, and support for the patient and the family. It helps family and loved ones stay close to the dying patient. Most hospice patients are in their last 6 months of life. Hospice care does not make death come faster, or put off death.

    What Hospice Care Offers

    Hospice care is given by a team. This team may include doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, aides, clergy, and therapists. The team works together to give the patient and family comfort and support.

    The hospice team is always available.

    Hospice care treats the mind, body, and spirit. Services may include:

    • Control of pain
    • Treatment of symptoms (such as shortness of breath, constipation, or anxiety)
    • Spiritual care that meets your needs
    • Giving the family a break (called respite care)
    • Helping the patient and family learn what to expect
    • Helping the patient and family cope with loneliness and fear
    • Helping the patient and family share feelings
    • Helping the family after the loss (called bereavement care)

    The hospice team helps the family cope after the death.

    Where Hospice Care Is Offered

    Hospice care may be given in many locations including:

    • The patient's home
    • The home of a family member or friend
    • A nursing home
    • A hospital
    • In a hospice center

    The person in charge of care is called the primary care giver. This may be a spouse, life partner, family member, or friend. In some settings the hospice team will teach the primary care giver how to care for the patient. Caring could include turning the patient in bed, and feeding, bathing, and giving the patient medicine. The primary care giver will also be taught about signs to look for, so he or she knows when to call the hospice team for help or advice.

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                Tests for Hospice care

                  Review Date: 4/4/2012

                  Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

                  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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                  St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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