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Hospice offers palliative care to all terminally ill people and their families, regardless of age, gender, nationality, race, creed, sexual orientation, disability, diagnosis, availability of a primary care giver, or ability to pay. A highly qualified, specially trained team of hospice professionals and volunteers work together to meet the physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and economic needs of clients/families facing terminal illness and bereavement. The hospice interdisciplinary team collaborates continuously with the client’s attending physician to develop and maintain a client directed individualized plan of care. Hospice offers a safe, coordinated program of palliative and supportive care in a variety of appropriate settings, from the time of admission through bereavement, with the focus on keeping terminally ill clients in their homes as long as possible. Hospice care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and services continue without interruption if the client care setting changes. Hospice is accountable for the appropriate allocation and utilization of its resources in order to provide optimal care consistent the client/family needs. Hospice is committed to continuous assessment and improvement of the quality and efficiency of its services. Hospice exists in the hope and belief that, through affirming care and the support of a caring community sensitive to their needs, persons may be free to attain physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fulfillment in living each day as fully as possible.
- Provides support and care for persons in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.
- Recognizes dying as part of the normal process of living and focuses on maintaining the quality of remaining life.
- Affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death.
- Hospice exists in the hope and belief that through appropriate care, and the promotion of a caring community sensitive to their needs, patients and their families may be free to attain a degree of mental and spiritual preparation for death that is satisfactory to them.
NHPCO’s Standards of Practice for Hospice Programs (2000)
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