While advances in modern medicine are impressive, there are situations when patients either cannot or will not pursue efforts to cure a life-limiting illness, disease or condition.
Hospice is a specialized form of medical care that seeks to provide comfort and maintain a patient's quality of life (to the greatest extent possible) for those facing a life-limiting illness, disease or terminal condition.
Hospice care focuses on the overall well-being of the patient by not only addressing his or her physical condition but also any emotional, social or spiritual needs as death approaches.
Hospice care can provide support, resources, and information to a patient's family and loved ones during this difficult time -- particularly to a family member providing caregiving to the patient -- as well as assistance after a hospice patient passes.
It's important to understand that while hospice care does not seek to cure a patient's life-limiting disease, condition, or illness, hospice also does not hasten death or "help someone to die." The mission of hospice care is to affirm life and considers death part of a natural process in order to help patients spend the rest of their lives as fully and comfortably as possible.