Hospice care doesn’t only refer to the last few weeks or months of life in a hospital or nursing home, but also refers to palliative and end-of-life care provided at home or in other locations outside of the hospital setting. Most people are aware that hospice care is available when one becomes terminally ill, but few people understand what hospice means and what services it provides. If you or your loved one needs hospice therapy at home, it’s important to know what kind of services will be provided and how to ensure you receive the best possible care from hospice workers.

We all have different goals

The goal of hospice care is not to cure or improve a person’s condition. Instead, the goal is to relieve symptoms and provide comfort. As such, it’s important that you’re aware of advanced directives so you can discuss them with your family and doctors.

Who decides?

When a patient is in the advanced stages of a terminal illness, there is often talk about hospice care. It’s important that you are aware of your end-of-life wishes so that these arrangements can be made in advance. In some cases, it may be necessary for an individual’s healthcare power of attorney (or POA) to make decisions on their behalf.

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The five-step process

There are many steps involved in end-of-life care, but one of the most important is deciding on your advanced directives. These include a living will or advance directive for health care and a power of attorney.

Factors that affect decisions

People who are terminally-ill and nearing the end of life face several important decisions. These decisions can include what kind of care they want, whether or not they want to be resuscitated, and if they want their family members contacted in case of emergency. Advance directives help people make these difficult decisions by explaining the person’s wishes so that there is no confusion in an emergency situation.

Things are rarely black and white

It may be a surprise, but not everyone wants to be on life support or get therapy at home if they are terminally ill. Some people want their doctors to do all they can and then let them die naturally. Others want everything done possible. And some people don’t know what they want or don’t have time to think about it because their illness is advancing quickly and require immediate action. That’s where advanced directives come in.