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Exploring Hospice Care: Addressing Common Questions

Hospice care plays a crucial role in providing comfort, support and dignity to individuals with terminal illnesses and their families during their final stages of life. But unless you have known a loved one, family member or friend who has received hospice care, you might have questions and concerns.

“Beginning your hospice journey can feel overwhelming,” said Manager Cara Fries, RN, Three Rivers Homecare and Hospice. “Our team is dedicated to providing personalized care to every patient and family. We spend quality time to get to know you and understand your wishes. Connecting with heart and compassion is at the core of what we do.”

Below are a few common questions you might have about hospice care. The Three Rivers Homecare and Hospice care team are available to provide more information and to shed light on this essential aspect of healthcare.

What exactly is hospice care?

Hospice care is a specialized approach focused on enhancing the quality of life for individuals with a prognosis of six months or less to live. Hospice care emphasizes pain and symptom management, emotional support and addressing the holistic needs of patients and their families.

Where does hospice care take place?

Hospice care can be provided in various settings, including the patient’s home or an assisted living facility. The goal is to offer care in the most comfortable and familiar environment possible.

Who provides hospice care?

A multidisciplinary team delivers hospice care. This team can include doctors, nurses, social workers, spiritual advisors, counselors and volunteers, all working together to ensure that the patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met.

Does choosing hospice mean giving up on treatment?

Hospice care isn’t about giving up — it’s about shifting the focus from curative treatments to providing comfort and quality of life. Patients can still receive necessary medical treatments, but the emphasis shifts to managing pain and symptoms rather than aggressively pursuing a cure.

When is the right time for hospice care?

Deciding when to transition to hospice care is a deeply personal choice. It’s often recommended when treatments aimed at curing or slowing a disease’s progression are no longer effective, and the focus should shift toward enhancing the patient’s comfort and well-being.

Understanding the fundamental aspects of hospice care can help with making informed decisions that align with a patient’s values and preferences during a challenging time. Hospice care offers a compassionate and holistic approach to end-of-life care, addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs while providing support for both patients and their families.

Learn more

The care experts at Three Rivers Health Homecare and Hospice use a family-centered approach, providing assistance, comfort and support to help patients and families in St. Joseph County, Cass County and South Kalamazoo County in Michigan. Contact us at 269.278.6108 for more information.

About Laura Bailey

Laura is a communications specialist at Beacon Health System. She enjoys sharing stories with the community about the talented team members at Beacon and winning against the computer in Scrabble.