Advantages & Disadvantages of Hospice Care

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Hospice is a form of health care designed to meet the specific needs of the terminally ill. The goal of hospice is to make the patient as comfortable as possible in his remaining days. Hospice care may be administered in a hospital or nursing home, a specially equipped residential setting or in the patient's home through regular visits by hospice workers. Hospice care offers certain advantages and disadvantages.

Family Care

One advantage of hospice care is that in addition to providing care to the dying during their final days, it also provides emotional support to the family. The family and friends of the patient are permitted to participate in the care giving, which may help them cope with their impending loss. Bereavement counselling after the loved one passes away is also provided.

Comfortable Setting

Another advantage of hospice care is that it provides the most comfortable setting possible for the patient in her final days. A residential hospice centre gives the patient the feeling of being in a home setting instead of the sterile and unpleasant environment of a hospital room. With a visiting hospice arrangement, the patient can die with dignity in his own home.

Holistic Approach

Patients can benefit from hospice care because it takes a holistic approach to treating the patient, as opposed to only meeting the patient's medical needs. Spiritual needs are also addressed, like if the patient wishes to seek counsel with clergy. Emotional support is also provided by the hospice staff, such as social workers and volunteers, if the patient needs someone to talk to.

Lack of Treatment Methods

A possible disadvantage of hospice care is that if the patient is at home and not in a traditional hospital setting, she may not have access to the array of medical machinery that she would in a hospital. According to, she may not be able to receive certain treatments, such as being able to receive nourishment through a feeding tube.

Draining for Families

Another disadvantage of hospice is that it can be hard on the family and other loved ones of the patient. According to, loved ones can become physically and emotionally exhausted. They may be required to give up normal activities and possibly miss work in order to spend time with or assist in the treatment of the patient.

Invasion of Privacy

Another disadvantage is that patients and family members who use visiting hospice care may come to resent what they view as an invasion of their privacy. Hospice workers and volunteers may be entering the home at any time of day, which can make the experience less comfortable for couples who would rather spend as much of their remaining time together alone with each other.

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