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How is hospice care provided?
Hospice care is provided in several settings. It’s provided in the home, it’s provided in skilled nursing facilities, it’s provided in board and care facilities, it can be provided in a hospital setting, and it is also provided in our hospice houses, of which we have two: Lakeview Home, which is located La Mesa, and Parkview Home, which is located in Del Cerro.
What is the role that hospice plays in a patient's home?
When we provide care in a patient’s home, the family members really become the caregivers. And the role that hospice plays in that is to, of course, provide expertise in pain and symptom management. Also provide spiritual care support, other counseling services, financial counseling, etc. — and also to really help the family work through the dying process of their loved one.
How about spiritual care?
Spiritual care is a very personal matter for people. It’s based on culture, how a person was raised. There’s a variety of factors that are involved in spiritual care and a person’s response to the disease. Hospice recognizes the individuality of each person’s spirituality and approaches that person from their own standpoint.
How can hospice help surviving family members after a loved one passes away?
Bereavement support actually starts prior to the patient’s passing. That’s called prebereavement; however, once the patient passes away, hospice provides the expertise of counseling, groups, newsletters and other support for a period of up to a year after a loved one passes away. And we really focus on helping surviving family members create normalcy in their life after someone has passed away.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is a subset of hospice care. In other words, every person should be receiving palliative care. Palliative care can be defined as aggressive symptom management. It’s for people who have a chronic illness who are not yet terminal. When I develop a plan which includes hospice, I know that I’m going to live better, I’m going to live longer and my loved ones, who are the caregivers, are going to get better support.
In talking about end-of-life care, it’s important that we look at the old way versus the new way. The old way would be reactive, acute care, hospitals, emergency rooms. The new way says, “Let’s be proactive. Let’s anticipate how this disease is going to affect me. Let’s collaborate. Let’s be family centered and let’s plan.”
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's senior health services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about senior health, read the Senior Health News archive.