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World Hospice Day

Numerous people die in facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes as they receive care that is not consistent with their wishes. Older adults need to plan and let their caregivers, doctors, or family members know their end-of-life preferences in advance. For example, if an older person wants to die at home, receiving end-of-life care for pain and other symptoms. This person needs to make this known to health care providers and family, it is less likely he or she will die in a hospital receiving unwanted treatments.


If the person is no longer able to make healthcare decisions for themselves, a caregiver or family member may have to make those decisions.


What is hospice care?

Increasingly, people are choosing hospice care at the end of life. Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life. Hospice care provides compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. It's a home providing care for the sick or terminally ill. At some point, it may not be possible to cure a serious illness, or a patient may choose not to undergo certain treatments. Hospice is designed for this situation. A patient beginning hospice care needs to understand that his or her illness is not responding to medical attempts to cure it nor is it slowing the disease's progress.


Hospice provides comprehensive comfort care as well as support for the family, but, in hospice, attempts to cure the person's illness are stopped. Hospice is provided for a person with a terminal illness whose doctor believes he or she has six months or less to live if the illness runs its natural course.


Where is hospice care provided and who provides it?

Hospice care can be offered in two types of settings — at home or in a facility such as a nursing home, hospital, or even in a separate hospice centre.


Hospice care brings together a team of people with special skills — among them nurses, doctors, social workers, spiritual advisors, and trained volunteers. Everyone works together with the person who is dying, the caregiver, and/or the family to provide the medical, emotional, and spiritual support needed.


World Hospice Day is an annual unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice care around the world. It takes place on October 9 intending to improve the quality of life for people affected by serious health problems. Those that have life-limiting illnesses have the right to be cared for in the way that best suits their needs and this holiday emphasizes that.


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