Hospice Palliative care is a philosophy of care that focuses on comfort and quality of life. It supports patients physically, psychologically, spiritually and socially and helps patients achieve the best possible quality of life right up until their death.
Palliative care starts at the point of diagnosis to engage in relationship building with a health care team, addressing symptoms, coping, providing information, engaging with family, exploring treatments and supporting with end-of-life planning.
At the exhaustion of all life prolonging or curative treatments, patients may enter a hospice or receive hospice care in their residence. The goal of hospice care is to help manage symptoms and provide comfort until the end of life. Patients continue to be supported by a palliative care team of social workers, doctors, nurses, and spiritual care providers.
I enter each room with openness, willingness, and peace. I sit a while, hold a hand, sing a song, massage cream into dry skin, play cards, bring a drink, and read a book out loud. But what I mostly do is listen. There are often things needing to be said and to have a listener is sometimes all it takes.